"Third Mate on sailing in two hurricanes before Sandy: The main difference is that, in those storms, our bilge pumps kept up.
Crew couldn't get the emergency pump to work. That's the pump no one had been trained to operate...."
After all it seems that the ship had sailed previously in Hurricanes. Does anybody find normal that with today's way of predicting weather a wooden XVIII century designed ship, mostly of the time in bad sailing condition, had sailed in 3 hurricanes?
It seems he thinks normal that a ship could be maintained afloat because pumps are getting out more water than the one that is coming in. It seems pumps were not used in emergencies but as a normally used component on sailing that ship.
I heard old stories about wooden ships that had to be continually pumped...they were ships in bad shape trying to make their last voyage home...and not always succeeding.