The guy sounds like a real piece of work, doesn’t he? First, the accident was allegedly caused because he deviated from the course to provide a show for the people on land. Apparently no one taught him that pride cometh before a fall. Also? I now know where the term “show-boating” comes from.
Then, in response to having beached his vessel like an awkward whale, what does he do? Does he take charge and give his crew orders to organize passengers for evacuation? Does he begin a role call to assure all passengers are accounted for? No. If the rumor is to be believed, rather than do either of those useful things, he called down to the kitchen (galley?) to order dinner for himself and a woman he was entertaining.
Wow. I think we can agree on two things: #1: He demonstrated fantastically bad judgement; #2: This guy takes “calm in a crisis” to a whole new level.
By the way, how mortified do you think his date was? We’ve all been out with that guy – the one who tries too hard to impress you, who ends up making an ass of himself with grandiose gestures that completely backfire. I’m thinking the conversation in the cockpit (or whatever you call it on ship – the bridge?) went something like this:Captain: You really MUST see the port up-close. Let me zip in a bit for you. Date: I’m good. We should probably just stick with the regular route. Captain: No! I insist! You must see this. Date: Um. What was that shudder? Why aren’t we moving? Captain: Ah, that’s totally normal. Here, let me call down for a bottle of wine and some food. Date: Actually, I just remembered – I left the iron on at home. Gotta roll!
And then, when he does realize there may be grave consequences, rather than spring into action to save the lives of his passengers, he’s one of the first people off the boat. Granted, he claims he “tripped” and fell into a lifeboat, so we’re not supposed to fault him for that, but if you’ve read the Coast Guard transcripts, you know that he didn’t exactly mount a campaign to re-board the ship and take command of the situation.
Don’t get me wrong – self-preservation is a biologically driven urge, and it would take some serious over-coming to force yourself to stay on that ship. But when you’re the person who caused the situation, it’s kind of your responsibility to make sure you aren’t killing people.
I’m sure we’ll learn more in coming months when the lawsuits start to mount. Given his track record for chivalry, I’m waiting for him to throw his date under the bus and claim she was actually the one driving when the ship ran aground. And in keeping with his character, he’ll shrug and say, “What? Everyone knows women can’t drive.”