Oh, for crying out loud I promised I would not do this.
Suppose that the investigation reveals that the malfunction had absolutely nothing to do with the weather...that the lee shore had no effect on the outcome...that the vessel would have sunk anyway without a hurricane to the southeast? Based on the captain's statements, this ship had seen worse than 18 ft. seas and 40 knot winds before.
I am not denying the presence of the weather, and the questionable judgement to head out. But it is possible that the facts could show that the weather was not a factor in the root cause, and then much of the speculation about it becomes moot. Had he stayed in for the hurricane, nobody would have died on that day. But what if the nature of the malfunction was something that would have happened on his NEXT trip out, and would have led to the same fatal result? Then the hurricane is moot, and people still would have died. It's purely speculation, but two can play that game.
How cannot have nothing to do with the weather? The ingress of water was progressive and in calm weather they had just to ask to CG to deliver them some diesel pumps and to tow the boat to shore.
Besides that email from the woman that tragically died makes clear that the engines and the generators (the only way to power the water pumps) were in bad shape, not reliable and that the crew was " always stewing over them".
Obviously the Captain knew that too as he knew the boat was making water. And here let me tell you that I live in a place where 30m wooden fishing boats still operate and a condition of a boat that needs to have the pumps working every hour to take water out would scare any fisherman.
How can this accident have nothing to do with the condition of the ship and the fact that the Captain took an unsuitable ship, in bad working condition to an hurricane taking a "calculated risk"?
The only situation it is acceptable for a Captain to take a calculated risk that puts in danger his crew is when all the other options imply a greater risk to the loss of human live. So you think that if he had not take that risk, sailing a Hurricane, and had stayed in Port the risk of loss of human life would be greater? Jesus
As it was already explained many times, it was not only the wind or the waves, but the type of sea condition that in that particular place, with that wind takes place.
Anyway, one thing is to be on high seas and be caught to an unavoidable storm, other thing is to sail deliberately to one, taking and avoidable risk.
I guess this Captain's statement says it all:
"we chase hurricanes...You try to get up as close to the eye of it as you can, and you stay down in the southeast quadrant, and when it stops, you stop, you don't want to get in front of it, you want to stay behind it, but you also get a good ride out of a hurricane,"
This Captain should have lost its license after having said this barbarity. He can do it alone in his boat and even so he is putting at risk the ones that sooner or later would be trying to save him, but doing this with a crew that has confidence his judgment about their safety, putting all in a "calculated risk"? This guy is irresponsible and that is the last thing a Captain should be.