For example, if they have a recorded phone call from the owner that tells the Captain he will be fired on the spot and blackballed in the TSC, if he didn't set sail immediately, I would feel no differently about his willingness to put the other lives at risk for his own career.
Excellent point, well put. The captain is ultimately responsible, and an ultimatum from the ship's owners is no excuse for putting the lives of the crew at risk. Most especially given that this crew had no idea what risks they were getting into, and relied entirely on the captain's judgement.
A captain who would do that should not be a captain in the first place.