This Friday (02/04/2021) I was saddened to hear about the death of Robin Boltman. Robin will be remembered as the level headed hero that really turned the Oceanos disaster into a miracle.
I first encountered him way back in 1986 on board the Achille Lauro where he was the resident magician, entertainment host and overall funny man. He was an excellent cruise host and his shows were always packed out. However, he really showed his metal during the Oceanos disaster where he really took charge of making sure the passengers on the doomed ship were properly evacuated. Robin and Moss Hills did the job that the captain of the ship did not do. I suspect that it was a role that he never expected to have to perform but he did it admirably and he will always be remembered for the part that he played.
He was also caught up in the sinking of the Achille Lauro in November 1994 and many said that he was jinxed, but the reality is that if Robin was on board you could be sure that you would escape a shipping disaster.
Robin wrote a book about his experiences entitled “Do these stairs go up or down?” and I read it last August.
It was an interesting read as it did cover a lot of Robin’s career at sea and of course the sinking of the Oceanos and Achille Lauro. Sadly poor health would dog him in his later years and his death is a shock. Robin and Moss had courage and it was their courage that turned the Oceanos disaster into a lesson on how a shipboard evacuation could be conducted. He saved many lives and will not be forgotten by those who knew him and remembered him from the fledgling days of cruising out of South Africa.
Rest in Peace Robin.