Does a ship captain have a legal obligation to go down with the ship? Well not quite reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Ship captains are required to assist in getting passengers safely off the vessel but no one actually requires a captain to go down with the ship. However ship captains usually face an inquiry as to what happened and can face criminal charges if they are found negligent. The captain of the Costa Concordia is on trial for manslaughter while the captain of the South Korean ferry faces negligence charges. Neither were the last to get off their sinking vessels.
Source: Are Captains Required To Go Down With Their Ships?(20 April 2014,Atlanta Journal Constitution)