Lloyd’s List, the well respected shipping industry newspaper, issued its "Seafarer of the Year" award today. And to the surprise of many, the recipients were the crew members of the doomed Costa Concordia cruise ship.
Lloyd’s List explains that the media has painted the Costa crew with a broad brush as lacking competence, training, and experience. They allegedly added to the confusion surrounding the delayed evacuation of the cruise ship after captain Schettino steered the ship into the rocks off of Giglio.
I must admit that I have lumped them all together as well.
But the initial reports of the four Italian experts investigating the disaster has also been critical of the crew members. The experts have concluded that some crew members were unaware of the ship’s emergency instructions and had difficulty communicating with each other.
Lloyd’s List’s stated: "What was largely missed in the media storm that ensued were the genuine examples of bravery and professionalism displayed by members of the crew . . it should not be forgotten that without the skilled response of the majority of the crew, the loss of life could have been far higher."
Yes there were indeed many heroic stories which involved the crew members. Many crew members lost their lives trying to help the passengers escape the nightmare.
But the crew of a cruise ship is a team of individuals. Teams should not receive awards when some of the team members fail miserably in performing their professional duties.
And there is the matter of the many dead passengers. Their surviving families, still grieving, may have a hard time wondering why anyone is receiving awards when the disaster killed their loved ones, some of whom remain trapped in the cold, dark hull in Giglio.