Posted: Oct 29, 2012 8:59 PM by Adrian Pittman, Trey Schmaltz
Updated: Oct 29, 2012 8:59 PM
BATON ROUGE- Former East Baton Rouge Parish School Board member Noel Hammatt sat somberly Monday, thinking about his friend, Capt. Robin Walbridge, who is missing at sea after Sandy sank the ship he commanded.
Hammatt and Walbridge met when the HMS Bounty was docked in Baton Rouge four years ago.
"I fell in love with the boat while she was here, and the ship was special to me. The first time it was here, I spent most of my time in the rigging," Hammatt said.
The Bounty sank Monday morning. 14 people were rescued alive, one was rescued unresponsive, and Capt. Walbridge has not been found.
"There was no way that he was getting off that boat until everyone was off," said Hammatt as he sat with a picture of the Bounty next to him.
About Capt. Walbridge, he said: "He was the most incredible captain, and to this day, Robin is the epitome of the sailing captain."
Hammatt, remains hopeful that his friend will escape the sea. "Hang in there Robin. They're coming for you. Hang on, there're other ships to captain."
The Bounty is an exact replica of the original ship and has been featured in movies like "Mutiny on the Bounty" and most recently "Pirates of the Caribbean."
The ship was used for educational experiences. Hammatt said, "the Bounty was an opportunity for people to learn more than just reading about the past but to experience the past."