Local sailor disagrees with National Transportation Safety Board ruling on HMS Bounty

11:48 AM, Feb 11, 2014   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida-- As a sailor for over half a century, and as a friend of Captain Robin Walbridge's for much of it, Clifford Bredeson's response to the National Transportation Safety Board's report on what went wrong in the sinking of the HMS Bounty, is nothing short of heartbreaking. 

STORY: Capt.'s decision to sail into Hurricane Sandy resulted in sinking of the Bounty, NTSB reports

"I rate him very highly. We've done this before in hurricanes.  We've chased hurricanes. It was a perfectly safe thing to do," said Bredeson.

Monday, the NTSB determined it a "reckless decision" by the captain, to sail into Hurricane Sandy, one of the most destructive storms in US History. An inexperienced crew were also to blame. 

"There were inexperienced people on board...but generally speaking this was a well-trained crew." 

Despite state-of-the-art navigation equipment, the investigation also determined the voyage never should have happened, and that the age of the 180-foot boat played a role in it's demise.

"The last time I sailed her, she was the best I had ever seen. And getting better all the time."

Though the vessel had received major upgrades over the past few years, one of the water pumps on board ultimately failed.  Something Bredeson admits played a big part in the sinking.

"The captain is always responsible. Whether because of mistakes, or because the ship was bad."

Bredeson believes the criticism of his dear friend is too harsh, and that the blame shouldn't be solely placed on the missing captain. 

"One problem with the vessel doesn't take away the expertise of decades."

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