Three of The Current
Abandoning Ship: History of Captains - The Wreck of the Medusa
Even if everything you know about sea-faring came from that scene, you know that a captain never abandons his ship. And yet over the last week, that's exactly what Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, has been accused of doing, although he denies all charges against him.
Last Friday, the ship ran aground off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio. At least 11 people are dead and 21 are still missing. And this recording between Captain Schettino and coast guard captain Gregorio De Falco is still fueling outrage.
Captain Francesco Schettino now admits that he did leave his ship though he says it happened by accident, after he tripped and fell into a lifeboat.
History has its share of captains who have been accused of abandoning their ships. One of the most famous incidents was immortalized on canvas by French Romantic painter Théodore Géricault in The Raft of the Medusa. The painting depicts a raft afloat in the sea after the French Naval frigate, The Medusa went down. Its captain, Hugues Duroy de Chaumereys not only is accused of of abandoning ship, but of cutting loose from a convoy of lifeboats 150 passengers on a hastily made raft. Only 15 of them survived.
Jonathan Miles is an author who researched the Medusa for his book, The Wreck of the Medusa, The Most Famous Sea Disaster of the Nineteenth Century. Jonathan Miles read from his book.
Abandoning Ship: History of Captains
To Britain, now, where Andrew Lambert has spent a lot of time researching the history of captains and sinking ships. He is a professor of Naval history at King's College in London. And Captain Ted Morley is an instructor at Maritime Professional Training the largest private maritime training institution in the United States. He was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
Last Word - Mystery Disease
We ended the program this morning with a preview of a story The Current's Ellen Saenger is working on for next week about a mysterious, unexplained illness that is attacking men throughout Central America.
Other segments from today's show: