I am a bit more antagonistic against the Captain.
I was watching this storm and the NOAA predictions and I thought there were WILDLY stupido to say the hurricane would come up over Jamacia, over Cuba, due north over Bahamas then west a bit, then North again, then due east for a moment then curve slowly to hit New York.
I thought they couldn't possible have a prediction five days out like that. BUT THEY WERE RIGHT! NOAA was absolutely SPOT ON from days and days before. No one has given them credit for how accurate they were, remember Jersey Shores invoked a state of emergency three days before it hit.
The other bit I don't believe, but this is more of a gut feeling is the idea he wanted to save the ship by being at sea. That just doesn't wash with me. I don't get the vibe, and its only a vibe, that human behavior does this. I think he wanted to prove the world wrong. I think he wanted to show his ship wasn't a bucket of waste trash held together by rust, by going out into a hurricane path that he thought was wrongly predicted.
If he had been sucessful he could have arrived in port and said: well I knew the hurricane would go that way, and I knew my boat could do,this....
That's what I think it was. Vanity. Narcissism. He wanted to prove to captains of container ships that he wasn't a second rate captain in their estimation, but their equal. If a container ship can go to sea in a hurricane he wasn't going to hide in port. If a container ship captain gets paid $200,000 per year that's what he was worth too... Even though he may only have been paid, say $50,000 per year.
And that, if correct, damns the captain. And would be a good reason why he did not reach a life raft
. He knew he couldn't survive to tell the tale.