The Captain is the one who makes the decisions and is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the ship. He is responsible. It was his decision to allow the ship to sail severely overloaded. The magnate who owns the ship and sought to raise profits at the expense of safety also bears responsibility. The Captain could have walked when faced with the choice, and no doubt some other man would have accepted the position and risk. The bribe for his honor resulted in the needless death of innocents. I'll bet they wish they had kept their honor over a few pieces of silver.
Maritime law is very specific about culpability in these kinds of situations. The Captain is also very well versed about his own responsibility in such cases. Although many boat captains can go their whole lives without such incidents, it unfortunately happens sometimes. This man gave instructions to students that turned out to be deadly. He then left the ship with the knowledge that there were hundreds of passengers still on board.
He was one of the first of the survivors to be rescued. He left his ship, his crew and his passengers. It's a golden rule with ship captains, one must never abandon their ship. He also didn't get people off the ship into life jackets and life boats when he was able to. He stated he feared the water was too cold and he thought the rescuers wouldn't arrive before people would freeze to death. It was a risk he should have taken.
The captain of a ship is overall responsible for whatever happens while the ship is sailing. The same rule was applied to 'Coasta Concordia' accident. The captain of the ship decides upon its course and speed and every move. Unless there was mechanical failure or if it can be proved that the navigational error was due to computer or electronic malfunction, the captain has to bear full responsibilty.
A very sad affair and a failure on so many levels:
- courage by the crew
- leadership by the captain
- training by the operator
- regulations by the government
What good does hundreds of life-rafts do on a ship if nobody knows how and when to operate them? What good is a sailer if he jumps off ship, leaving his dependents (the passengers) behind, at the first sign of trouble? Where were the morals? Where was the written and unwritten codex of the sea that we've lived by for hundreds of years? Did nobody instill any sense of responsibility into these people?
Innocent until proven guilty. You are entitled to your opinions but until all if the evidence has been heard in a court if law and a guilty verdict returned, then the man is guilty if nothing and no one can actually say otherwise. Whatever you think you know you haven't heard entry thing and therefore shouldn't be able to state whether he is at fault or not at this stage.