The captain of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia that tumbled against rocks near the port of Giglio, an island off the Italian coast, is getting it from all sides --- and inspiring editorial cartoonists overseas and in the U.S., observes Grumpy Editor.
In Europe, the Brussels newspaper, La Libre Belgique, in an editorial cartoon this week, links the maritime disaster with the euro.
Belgian cartoonist Christian Louis (who signs his work simply “Clou”) sketches a large cruise ship, named Euro, on its side against rocks near a beach where two men stand. One asks, “Is the captain on board?” The other responds, “What captain?”
While that might not bring a Jay Leno-type laugh, the cartoon illustrates two mighty events that happened on Friday the 13th:
Standard & Poor's downgraded the debt rating of several eurozone countries in the euro area and the Costa Concordia keeled over at Giglio.
Among editorial cartoonists in the U.S., Mike Luckovich, of the Atlanta-Constitution, wasted no time in drawing a sinking ship, identified as Titanic 2012, with a message, “Attention passengers, the icebergs melted and we hit a drowning polar bear…”
NOW ABOUT THE CAPTAIN IN THE LIFEBOAT
Meanwhile, much is being made of cruise ship captain Francesco Schettino’s remarks while chaos spread on the stricken vessel.
Quotes from La Repubblica, one of Italy's two national daily newspapers, makes worldwide rounds in describing how the ship’s captain explained how he wound up in a lifeboat while passengers were struggling on decks.
“I was trying to get people into the boats in an orderly fashion,” the newspaper quotes Schettino explaining to a judge during a hearing Tuesday. “Suddenly, since the ship was at a 60-70-degree angle, I tripped and I ended up in one of the boats. That's how I found myself in the lifeboat.”
As for crashing the 114,500-ton, 952-foot-long ship --- in service for five and a half years --- with 4,234 people on board, the captain says:
"I made a mistake on the approach.”