Aside from the staying on their feet and avoiding being washed overboard there isn't much for PCs to do until the mashers show up at the end of SWW. I know there's a laundry list of what happened to some of the passangers and crew but I'd like to give my players a shot at at least keeping some (ie the named) npcs alive.
I have to reread through HTBM but I wonder about some of the mechanics of the attempts. Like say saving someone falling from the crows nest (can feather fall be done at range?) I intend to have Amella (the second in command) to STRONGLY suggest if not out right order everyone to get secure once she spots the oncoming storm.
Also I have an artificer who created the little "helper golems" from the Ebberon book. I'm concidering half of them being washed away and/or becoming masher chow but any ideas on how that would effect the progress of the ship limping along to shore?
The way I did it was to have a chart detailing the successes and failures of different Profession (Sailor) checks, with room for circumstance modifiers depending on technical know-how of the players.
The best result is to avoid HTBM (that's a really high DC), or they could beach the ship, or they could wreck the ship with all NPC's surviving, or do the above but named only, or as HTBM assumes, or without any NPCs and an unsalvageable wreck, or all dead.