leave a sinking ship

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leave a sinking ship

To leave a situation in which failure is imminent. A version of the expression "like rats leaving a sinking ship," meaning with great haste and having only personal wellbeing in mind. The expression refers to the popular notion that rats are the first to abandon a ship when it is sinking. The CEO's sudden resignation seemed strange at the time, but now we know that he was just leaving a sinking ship, as the company has become plagued by scandal.
See also: leave, ship, sink
References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately, Holland takes the liberal, bleeding- heart approach and fails to see rats leaving a sinking ship.
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