HEADLINERS; Career Overboard?
Sometimes only the captain's reputation goes down with his ship. All 561 people aboard the Greek cruise liner Oceanos were rescued before the ship sank off South Africa last weekend, but many of them expressed outrage that the captain, Yiannis Avranas, and the crew were among the first to leave the sinking ship. After the lifeboats were gone, 225 people waited to be rescued by helicopter as the listing vessel was tossed by 30-foot swells. One of the passengers, Irene Smith, said, "We were so angry with the captain that we wanted to throw stones at him." A captain's behavior in such circumstances is governed more by tradition than law, but one expert urged that he be prosecuted for "betraying the responsibilities of a ship's master." Captain Avranas, meanwhile, was unapologetic, saying he left early to help direct the rescue. "When I give the order abandon ship, it doesn't matter what time I leave," he said. "If some people want to stay, they can stay."
August 11, 1991 Week in Review News