Friend talks about missing ship captain
14 crew members rescued after ship sank from Hurricane Sandy
A fellow tall ship captain who knows the captain of the HMS Bounty who's currently lost at sea spoke Tuesday about this difficult time.
The Bounty's longtime captain, Robin Walbridge, went missing Monday morning when the ship sank off the coast of North Carolina because of Hurricane Sandy.
Fourteen crew members on the 180-foot replica of an 18th century tall ship had to be rescued, and at least one crew member died.
IMAGES: Tragic end to storied tall ship
Crew members aboard the SSV Harvey Gamage, currently docked in downtown Jacksonville, know others aboard the Bounty, including the missing captain. (HMS Bounty pictured belowduring visit to St. Augusine/WJXT file)
"He's well-known in the fleet of this type vessel," SSV Harvey Gamage Capt. Christopher Flansburg said. "He's been with Bounty for a long time, and so he knew the capabilities of that vessel very well, so he's been a captain for years and years and years, so he must've known what he was getting into."
Flansburg captains the Gamage, a 135-foot gaff-headed schooner that sailed into Jacksonville with 22 high school students on board learning marine science and how to sail. He's hit plenty of storms, including one off the Carolina coast this time last year.
"It wasn't predicted to be anything, but it developed into a tropical depression and then a tropical storm north of me, and that's all we did -- we went to work and spent three or four days dealing with it, fairly big seas and a fair amount of wind," Flansburg said.
It's a situation he hopes he doesn't hit again when the Gamage continues its voyage.
"A ship is never completely safe anywhere," Flansburg said. "It is, you just try to use all of the mitigating factors to your advantage, try and lessen the variables so that you are in control of the situation and you deal with whatever comes your way. That's what being a mariner is all about."
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