Monday, January 16, 2012
Shipwrecked Captain Thrown Under Bus
That didn't take long.
Carnival Corporation's Costa Crociere CEO today blamed the captain of the Concordia's captain for grounding the vessel late last week off the coast of Italy. As of this writing, six people have died in the tragedy and 16 people remain missing. This accident has turned to a crisis for the largest company in the cruise industry and the industry itself.
The ship's captain was detained by Italian authorities shortly after the accident. He was charged with manslaughter and abandoning ship before everyone was off the vessel. Multiple newspaper accounts include statements from passengers and Italian Coast Guard authorities about the captain leaving the ship. According to one AP report, members of the Coast Guard even tried to persuade the captain to return to the ship to oversee the evacuation. The captain refused.
Was it the right thing to do to blame the captain? Is this crisis such an existential threat to the company that decisive action was required? Is there no benefit to waiting for an investigation, which at this point has yet to begin?
From a crisis response perspective, I'm interested in your thoughts about the company's actions. What do you think?