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'going down with the ship'

Posted by Ward on July 15, 2004

Since I'm about to leave on a cruise, nautical phrases are on my mind. One that I hope not to hear relates to the Captain 'going down with the ship'. This is a really motivational kind of tradition for ship captains to keep the boat on top of the water rather than let the ship go down. Can any of our experts tell when and where the tradition and the phrase might have originated?