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Fred Schwerin on: Captain Ruspini
Fred Schwerin Q: OK give us a thumbnail sketch of Captain Ruspini, who he was, how old he was, his experience.

FS: Captain Ruspini was my grandfather. He was born in 1880. He attended a maritime academy and recovered his master's license at a relatively young age and took command of the "Florida" for the first time on a previous voyage to this particular voyage in January of 1909. He came from a background of officers. His father was a general in the Italian army, a Bersalleri general, and his uncle was an admiral in the Italian navy. He had gone to sea at an early age, had been to Latin America, to ports in various parts of the globe by the time he had reached this stage of his career. I believe he told me that he had been to a number of places and had seen some fairly exotic spots. He had been aboard sailing ships, as well, in those great days of the clipper ships. He had had some experience there. And although he was fairly young at the time of this particular incident, I think that he had spent a good bit of time at sea, and fortunately his experience was reflected in the handling of this particular incident.

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