Deserting/leaving a sinking ship - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
deserting/leaving a sinking ship
desert a sinking ship
To leave a situation in which failure is imminent. This phrase alludes to rats, the first ones said to flee a sinking ship. The CEO's sudden resignation seemed strange at the time, but now we know that he was just deserting a sinking ship, as the company has become plagued by scandal.
(like rats) deserting/leaving a sinking ˈship (humorous, disapproving) used to talk about people who leave an organization, a company, etc. that is having difficulties, without caring about the people who are left: One by one, employees began looking for other jobs, like rats deserting a sinking ship. ♢ I might have known he’d be the first rat to desert this sinking ship!