Ocean Beach Man a Hero to Fellow Passengers on Ill-Fated Italian Cruise Ship

by on January 24, 2012 · 3 comments

in Life Events, Ocean Beach, Popular, World News

Nicholas Taliaferro, 26, OB resident, and Patty Sandoval, of Scripps Ranch, huddle together atop life preservers for warmth in a church on the Tuscan island of Giglio after coming ashore from the Costa Concordia when it ran up on rocks last week.

Nick Taliaferro of Ocean Beach was on the ill-fated Italian cruise ship with his girlfriend when it hit a reef and sank last week.  Now some of the passengers are calling Taliaferro a hero for assisting them and their children getting into lifeboats despite calls by crews that everything was okay.

A website in Nick’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, ran a piece about him last week, see this: Hannibal.net :

A former Hannibal resident is being called a hero by some of his fellow passengers aboard the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew when it hit a reef and sank last Friday off the tiny Italian island of Giglio.

Dave Taliaferro [Nick’s father], a 1976 graduate of Hannibal High School who now lives in Lubbock, Texas, said he received an e-mail Wednesday morning from a woman who was aboard the lifeboat with his 26-year-old son, Nick. The woman praised Nick Taliaferro, who lived in Hannibal until he was approximately 4 years old, for keeping “us all calm” and for being “an absolute hero getting all the children and their families into the lifeboat first.”

Nick, who now lives in San Diego, Calif., where he is working and attending Mesa College, injured a bruised knee while helping people climb into a lifeboat.

 Here’s our local U-T San Diego version:

Patty Sandoval and Nicholas Taliaferro had never been so happy to end a trip. The two San Diegans got off a direct flight from London Saturday night and thanked God they had survived the most terrifying ordeal of their lives.

 They had been aboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship when it ran aground on rocks off the Italian coast on Jan. 13.

 “It was a nightmare. It was supposed to be a relaxing trip and it was a nightmare,” Sandoval said.

 For the remainder of this article, please go here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

john January 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

It always helps restore your faith in humanity when you see accounts of seemingly average people rising to the moment and take the lead or perform selfless acts in a crisis.
I saw a youtube clip yesterday of an incident where a man fell onto the tracks of a subway, while most bystanders simply tried to wave at an approaching train to slow, one man jumped down onto the track and dragged the other off it just as the train screeched to a halt over where he’d laid. A half second later they’d have both been killed.
Most people who do such things always say they didn’t even think about what they did, pure instinct.


Frank Gormlie January 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

I was just interviewed by KUSI about Nick and Patty; it will air Sunday at 10am on Ch 9/51. And it will be on their online platform by 2pm on Monday. Their producer and reporter Kevin Fulton picked up on our bent – that Nick is/ was a hometown and OB hero the night of the tragedy. The other news sources didn’t figure it out – and the OB Rag was the first to promote this aspect of the story – a fairly obvious important part of it.

As John above said, “it always helps to restore your faith in humanity when you see accounts of seemingly average people rising to the moment and take the lead or perform selfless acts in a crisis.”


Frank Gormlie January 29, 2012 at 10:30 am

The broadcast of my interview by Tom Jordan of KUSI this morning went off well; looks like they kept most if not all of the approximate 9 minute interview of me. Why me? Because it was the OB Rag that first sited the “hero” aspect of this story about Nick and Patty. The original U-T article on it – where we picked up the trail – did not highlight the “hometown hero” element at all. We did, and that’s why KUSI picked it up. It will be on their online platform by 2pm Monday I was told.


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