a sinking ship

sinking ship

A failing or floundering organization or entity. After all of the recent layoffs, most consider the company a sinking ship.
See also: ship, sink

a sinking ship

If an organization or cause is a sinking ship, it is failing and unlikely to recover. Insiders regard the company as a sinking ship. Note: You can also say that someone abandons, deserts or leaves a sinking ship, to mean that they leave an organization or activity which is about to fail. I know some people will say that I am leaving a sinking ship. He seems to be suggesting that we're deserting a sinking ship, but that's not the case. Compare with like rats deserting a sinking ship.
See also: ship, sink
References in classic literature ?
And how many things that he wouldn't lose for the world will he have to give up before he is thirty, I reflected sententiously,--give up at last, maybe, with a stony indifference, as men on a sinking ship take no thought of the gold and specie in the hold.
You thought that I was ruined, and you scudded like rats from a sinking ship.
While they sit and toast their wealth They failed to hear the cries for help But rats are always first to flee A sinking ship lost out at sea.