Sinking Ship Meaning

(idiomatic) Something which is doomed; a lost cause; an impending debacle; an ongoing disaster.

Example: 1910, Mary Roberts Rinehart, When a Man Marries, ch. 2:
  He said that . . . Bella had been perfectly right to leave him, because he was a sinking ship, and deserved to be turned out penniless into the world.
1928, D. H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover, ch. 9:
  My word, won't it be funny when there's no Tevershall pit working. . . . And now the men say it's a sinking ship, and it's time they all got out.
2012 May 30, Haitham Maleh, "Opinion: A Peace Plan in Name Only," New York Times (retrieved 1 Aug 2012):
  [T]he only future for Syria is without the Assad political dynasty. . . . The government is a sinking ship.