Originally Posted by kaneals
I'd love to think I'd be calm and collected, but I think the reality would depend on the circumstances....
I think in most cases that's where people start to panic. On the other hand, I think that's where hero's are born. Some people always seem to rise to the occasion. Just not the captain of that ship.
A well trained and competent officer should indeed stay calm and collected in an emergency. Airline pilots are well known for this, and presumably many many ship's captains have also done that.
But one circumstance that makes a big difference, land or sea, in any situation, is when you are trying to cover up your own guilt. It appears from the fragmentary reports that the Captain was instantly aware of his huge mistake and did his best to try to somehow minimize what he had done. Rather than contacting the Coast Guard right away and giving the Abandon Ship order in a timely fashion, he seems to have hoped that things would "work out" somehow and let him off the hook.