Strange how perceptions (of same info) can differ...
The snippets I heard of the CG / Captain conversation sounded to me like CG covering own backside - in arrears.
How many women and children
onboard? Lol! leaving aside the sexism of counting women (they wanted equality - you got it! - join the Q for the lifeboat
)....I have no idea how this information could be expected to be obtained mid evacuation - I doubt if the crew embarking passengers were keeping accurate logs
(and what purpose would be served by tasking the Capt with this role at that point?).....be easier to count folk as and when they arrive ashore.
and fundamentally does it really matter how many still onboard? A quick Google
would have said 4,000 passengers (even if info not already asked for from the Captain) and whether all onboard or only hundreds surely it would have been a case of throw all available resources at the problem, even if "Just in case"? (in practice of course would not have been a great deal of specialised resources / craft / personnel immediately available)...my bet is that CG realised that they could / should have done more in advance of the Abandon Ship order being issued.....I would be very surprised if Capt was not communicating with local authorities and Owners (if not also the CG) well before the "Abandon Ship" order was given - IMO those are the details where the devil lies......
Start pointing fingers = classic CYA.
I would also be very surprised if Capt (and CG) had not been in touch with the owners - probably some commercial
considerations in not rushing out specialists to assess the damage and possibly provide assistance (accepting that in this case would have likely arrived too late)....hoping that vessel could steam back to a dry dock
on the mainland.
One thing that struck me about the conversation was that the CG said "we are in control" - in which case, why were they not onboard directing the evacuation?
I am sure the Capt was aware that an evacuation of 4,000 passengers, at sea, was not something to be done lightly - odds are very high that some people would be injured, if not die, simply from the numbers involved and the fact that many of the passengers would have been elderly.....but probably also a touch of denial (and some commercial
considerations - even if unwritten), plus the fact that the damage assessment would not be exact - the damage being judged survivable may not have been such an unreasonable call, even though subequent events
proved it to be wrong!
Not to say that the Captain does not deserve all he gets for the initial "fly by" decision (even if not on the wheel
himself - buck stops with him) - but I would be very surprised if the Owners did not know that the practice (there and elsewhere) of deviating from the stated route
was not unusual - if not actually common place.
Capt falling overboard
does however sound a bit careless
Although the Captain is (presently) losing the PR war - IMO he is being very sensible in now keeping schtum, until he gets a forum to do so as evidence (rather than to feed the tabloids).