like rats from a sinking ship

like rats from a sinking ship

With great haste and having only personal well-being in mind. (Typically said of people who begin abandoning something or someone that is failing or about to fail.) I knew the business was doomed when employees started quitting en masse, like rats from a sinking ship. Like rats from a sinking ship, the disgraced athlete's corporate sponsors began pulling their sponsorships one after another.
See also: like, rat, ship, sink
References in classic literature ?
You thought that I was ruined, and you scudded like rats from a sinking ship.