Hansen noted that the captain took the ship "way out east," trying to steer around Sandy.
"He knows the ship, he's been captain of her for over 20 years and nobody knows her better," Hansen said. "I totally trusted his judgment."
Waldridge is a good-natured, mild-mannered captain who has a special bond with the Bounty, according to Susan Robertson, who has known him since 2001.
"Other than his wife, he acts like it's his first love," said Robertson, who works at The Pier in St. Petersburg, where the Bounty is often docked.
The ship's crew, she said "are like members of your own family."
"I hope they find him," she said.