While retreating from Greece aboard a Phonecian ship, a dangerous storm blew up. The ship was overloaded with Persians and it looked as though the ship would sink. Xerxes asked the pilot if there was anyway to survive and was told that the ship's load must be lighted substantially. On hearing this, the king addressed the Persians, "It is on you that my safety depends. Now let some of you show your regard for your king." Many obediently threw themselves overboard and the ship, now significantly lighter, was able to reach the shore safely. Xerxes quickly ordered that the pilot of the ship be given a golden crown for preserving his life, but then also commanded his head be cut off for causing the death of so many Perisans at sea.