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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 18th, 2014
04:45 PM ET

Fmr. Coast Guard captain from 'A Perfect Storm' weighs in on South Korea ferry disaster

(CNN) – An arrest warrant was issued Friday for the captain of the ferry that sank off the coast of South Korea, an accident that killed 29 people and left nearly 270 missing.

Plenty of questions remain about why it took so long to evacuate the ferry and why passengers were ordered at first to stay put.

"There was no reason to have that many people trapped down below the ship whatsoever," said Captain Larry Brudnicki, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.). Brudnicki led the rescue mission after the disaster that inspired the movie "The Perfect Storm."

"If they got one life boat off the ship, it would seem to me they would have the time to put more people in life boats, and get them off the ship, and they would have had a better chance of surviving," says Brudnicki.

Passengers also would have had a better chance of surviving if they had been told to don life jackets and stay up on deck.

"Once you put them down deep into the ship and tell them to stay there, once that ship starts rolling over, it's going to be extremely difficult for a trained, professional, licensed crew member to find his way ... to get out. You can't expect passengers are going to be able to evacuate the ship in that kind of manner," says Brudnicki.

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