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Safer at Sea? Tall Ship that Sank during Sandy was Planned to be Out

The captain of the tall ship HMS Bounty had hoped to save the ship by heading to sea rather than staying in Port during Hurricane Sandy; surviving crew members tell their story.

The tall ship sunk in Hurricane Sandy — which had visited the Port Washington Maritime Heritage Festival in 2010 — was actually at sea risking 16 lives because of a decision made by the boat's captain.

"Reports have emerged that Capt. Robin Walbridge chose to ride out Hurricane Sandy at sea instead of keeping the ship docked, where it would most likely have sustained major damage without any loss of life," according to an article on Yahoo!News. 

Walbridge and one crewmember, Claudene Christian, died in the incident.

"I've been through two other hurricanes, with Robin, on the bounty. This ship was in great shape," a crewmember told ABCNews in a video interview.

The HMS Bounty tried to circumnavigate the storm near the North Carolina coast, according to ABC News. It began taking on water and crews eventually looked to life boats for safety. The U.S. Coast Guard was able to rescue the other 14 members.

The ship was one of five in Port Washington for the 2010 festival, according to Examiner.com. The HMS Bounty is a replica of an 18th-century vessel and was built for the 1962 film “Mutiny on the Bounty.”

Port Washington’s annual summer festival celebrates “all things that have made our community a historical lakefront destination,” according to its website.

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