As part of my course, I have been doing some research over the last couple of days into major accidents and incidents. It makes for grim reading, naturally. It seems to be the case that often in the run-up to these incidents there may be similar circumstances with lucky escapes. On the day of the actual accident, a number of chance factors collide with some human error. In all the cases I’m reading about, two things stand out for me. The people who make mistakes and the people who take responsibility. The speed of such events seems to overwhelm those who should be in charge on the ground, and in trying to put myself in their shoes, I have to admit to my own fallibility and confess I would probably have been overwhelmed too. But there have been some inspiring acts of bravery too. The one that has stayed with me over the years has been the case of the man who acted as a ‘human bridge’ to help his family and fellow passengers to escape the overturned ferry, Herald of Free Enterprise, in 1987. Re-visiting the news programmes I first saw in my twenties has been a disturbing experience. But that man’s selflessness has stuck with me.