I know this may be shocking to some, but I come from a long line of attorneys.
Since I'm waiting for some varnish to dry on one project and glue to dry on another, I'll take on the position of counsel for the defendant, Captain Robin Walbridge.
We enter a plea of NOT GUILTY on all charges.
a. Did Defendant act on his own when setting sail from New London, CT on October 25, 2012?
The Defendant was always under the employment of the Plaintiff and as such carried out Plaintiff's orders as instructed, even in Plaintiff's absence.
b. Was the Defendant aware of the approaching Hurricane Sandy prior to setting sail on October 25, 2012?
The Defendant was aware there was a storm to the south but, based on the knowledge he had at the time, felt he could safely "skirt" around it.
c. Did the Plaintiff advise the Defendant of any limitations regarding what sailing conditions the Bounty should set sail?
The Defendant always acted in accordance of the rules and regulations set forth by the Plaintiff.
d. Did the Defendant act responsibly in the maintenance of the Bounty to ensure her seaworthiness?
The Defendant diligently and in a timely manner addressed any and all maintenance issues even if it meant fixing them himself.
e. Did the Defendant inform the Plaintiff, and in a timely manner, of any deficiencies existing on the Bounty that would make her unsafe to sail?
As soon as it was reasonably possible, the Defendant regularly informed the Plaintiff of any and all deficiencies upon the Bounty.
f. Did the defendant have a history of intentionally sailing into hurricanes?
We assume you are referring to the video that went viral. What the Defendant said in that video was intended to arouse curiosity and build the mystique of the Bounty. Nothing more.
g. If so, was the Plaintiff aware of the Defendant intentionally sailing into hurricanes?
No response required as there was no intent to sail into hurricanes.
a. Did the Defendant request any information from the crew he hired proving any skill, experience or knowledge in performing the duties he required them to perform on the Bounty?
Yes, the Defendant required extended information of all crew accepted. The least experienced were given non-life/safety related responsibilities.
b. Did the Defendant provide any ongoing training for the crew in the performance of carrying out his commands?
Yes. The Defendant's reputation of a skilled instructor devoted to teaching his crew proper seamanship was legend.
c. Did the Defendant provide any ongoing life-safety training?
Yes. Life-safety drills were held regularly.
d. Did the Defendant ignore any warnings from the crew about unsafe conditions on the bounty?
No. The Defendant took seriously each and every warning from the crew and attended to as soon as humanly possible.
e. Did the Defendant properly and in a timely manner provide sufficient information about his intended course prior to leaving New London on October 25, 2012?
Yes. As testified by at least one of the crew, the Defendant notified the crew this may be a difficult passage and anyone not wishing to make the passage could stay ashore.
f. Did the Defendant threaten any of the crew with a loss of their job should they choose to remain ashore for any sail the crew deemed unsafe or dangerous?
No. There is no evidence to that allegation.
g. Did any Plaintiff feel the Defendant intentionally sailed into hurricanes and if so did they object?
The Defendant knows of no member of the Plaintiff party who made any comments of the sort.
h. If a Plaintiff objected as in interrogatory 4(g), how did the Defendant respond?
i. Did any Plaintiff at any time in any sail prior to the departure on October 25, 2012 feel their safety was in jeopardy due to the actions on the part of the Defendant?
No complaints of that nature were made by the Plaintiff to the Defendant at any time.
If it please the court, Defense Counsel wishes to say a few words on behalf of the Defendant, who is no here to defend himself:
At 28, the Defendant, Captain Robin Walbridge secured his 50-ton license while working on the Miller houseboats on the Suwanee River in Florida where he was the field mechanic for five years. When not on the houseboats, he taught adult education and basic navigation to fishing and boat guides.
He went on to work on the Governor Stone in Apalachicola, Florida as Captain, conducting day sail programs, and crew training programs for the operation of the vessel. It was here he earned his 100-ton license.
He worked on the HMS Rose in 1993 as First and Second mate and went on to obtain his 500-ton Captain's license. He continued to work with youth sail training programs, developing programs for trainees along the eastern seaboard and Great Lakes. In 1995, he obtained his 1600-ton license.
Captain Robin Walbridge was an experienced, well certified and dedicated captain with 20+ years working on large vessels and a total of 40 years sailing experience. He should not be defending himself in this court but rather be praised for all he has done for the world of sailing.
Unless there are any pbjections, Defense Counsel moves all charges against our client be dropped
as it was simply an act of God that caused the sinking of S/V HMS Bounty.
I think the glue should be dried by now...