Ship community divided about captain of ill-fated 'Bounty'

Norfolk's Virginian-Pilot has a fascinating story about whether the famous tall ship should have gone to sea in the face of Hurricane Sandy,{ }a{ }decision that left one crew member dead and the captain, Robin Walbridge, missing and presumed dead.

It's long piece but{ }worth the read. Here's a brief look, as well as link to the article at{ }{ }

"While people may have been reluctant to question Walbridge’s plan, that’s not true today. A debate is raging about his decision to go to sea with a monster storm looming. At least three tall-sailing-ship captains have said they would not have tried that passage with Sandy barreling northward.

"The Bounty, built for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty,” went down early Monday about 90 miles off Cape Hatteras, in a treacherous and unpredictable area known as the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” where the cold Labrador Current mixes with the warm water of the Gulf Stream. The Coast Guard rescued 14 of the 16 people aboard from 18-foot seas.

"Crew member Claudene Christian was found unresponsive 10 hours later, floating in the ocean in a survival suit, but she died later. Walbridge, 63, still has not been found. The Coast Guard called off the search Thursday night and has ordered an investigation into what happened."

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