A passenger cruise ship hits an iceberg in Antarctic waters; all passengers and crew are safely evacuated and rescued; ship sinks. It’s a fairly straightforward news story that’s been making the news. See Stricken Antarctic ship evacuated (BBC).

I mentioned an irony bifecta. Since there were only two ironies I couldn’t call it an irony trifecta. Irony No. 1. The name of the ship was the M/S Explorer. Irony No. 2. The name of the cruise was called “Spirit of Shackleton“.

I should probably explain the irony here if you aren’t familiar with either item though most of you should be familiar with the first. Most computers run Microsoft Windows and the graphical interface used to navigate the computer is called Explorer, hence MS Explorer. And as most Windows users will attest MS Explorer crashes often enough to be familiar and frustrating.

As for the second. Ernest Shackleton was a legendary Antarctic explorer who was made famous by leading an expedition that failed. He was more famous for failing than if he’d succeeded with his original plan. His ship The Endurance (another ironic name) was caught in the pack ice, crushed and sank. The crew evacuated with three of the lifeboats; made a heroic trek across the ice, then across the ocean to Elephant Island. Shackleton then took one of the boats and made an even more heroic boat journey across 800 miles of Antarctic waters; only to land on the far side of St. Georgia Island; managed to cross the rugged icy terrain and sought rescue at the whaling station. Ernest eventually rescued the rest of the crew. No man was lost (though all the dogs had to be killed and eaten).