Please select your home edition
Edition
Sail Excchange 728x90 Used

It's official- Final word on Bounty, the Captain's 'reckless decision'

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 12 Feb 2014
Bounty as she proudly was, and the tragic sight of her sinking .. .
They didn't mince their words. 'The US National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of tall ship Bounty was the captain's reckless decision to sail the vessel into the well forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy, which subjected the aging vessel and the inexperienced crew to conditions from which the vessel could not recover. Contributing to the sinking was the lack of effective safety oversight by the vessel organization.'

This was the final damning report about the tragic sinking of the Bounty in October 2012, in which the blamed captain and one other crew member died and three others were seriously injured.

On the evening of October 25, a day after a well-forecast developing storm had reached hurricane strength, the 108-foot-long tall wooden ship, the Bounty, set sail from New London, Connecticut for St. Petersburg in Florida, into the forecasted path of Superstorm Sandy. The 52-year-old vessel, a replica of the original 18th Century British ship of the same name, had been built for the 1962 movie, 'Mutiny on the Bounty', and had become a familiar sight on the east coast of America and in the Caribbean

Prior to setting off from New London, some of the crew members had expressed their concerns to the captain that sailing into a severe storm could put all of them and the ship at risk. The captain assured the crew that the Bounty could handle the rough seas and that the voyage would be a success. Just a month earlier, in an interview with a Maine TV station, the captain said that the Bounty 'chased hurricanes,' and by getting close to the eye of the storm, sailors could use hurricane winds to their advantage.

The 16-page report details how a mostly inexperienced crew - plagued by injuries, seasickness and fatigue from the 30-foot seas - continued for many hours to keep the ship's engines running and bilge pumps operating so the seawater filling the vessel would not overtake it.

However, in the early morning hours of October 29, about 110 nautical miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the Bounty heeled sharply to starboard after taking on more than 10 feet of water in the final hours of the three and a half day voyage that the NTSB said, 'should never have been attempted.'

Despite hurricane winds gusting upwards of 100 mph, the U.S. Coast Guard was able to rescue all but two of the Bounty's 16 crew members by hoisting them from the sea into three Jayhawk helicopters in the midst of the storm.

The body of one crew member was found, still in a protective immersion suit, about 10 hours after rescue operations had commenced. The captain was presumed lost at sea; his body has never been recovered.

'Although this wooden ship was modelled after an 18th century vessel, the Captain had access to 21st century hurricane modelling tools that predicted the path and severity of Hurricane Sandy,' said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. 'The Bounty's crew was put into an extraordinarily hazardous situation through decisions that by any measure didn't prioritise safety.'

Prior to setting to sea, the Bounty had been in a Maine shipyard for maintenance and repairs, most of which was accomplished by a crew with little experience in such specialised work. One of their tasks was to caulk and re-seam a wooden hull, which had known areas of rot, with compounds supplied by the captain, including a silicone sealant marketed for household use.

The entity that owned and operated the ship, HMS Bounty Organization, LLC, did nothing to dissuade the captain from sailing into known severe weather conditions. The NTSB said that such a lack of effective safety oversight by the vessel organization contributed to the sinking.

The entire report is available at www.ntsb.gov/investigations/fulltext/MAB1403.html.
Lancer Industries - Lasts LongerSail Port Stephens 2017 660x82Sail Exchange 660x82 New Sails

Related Articles

Eleventh Blog from on board Perie Banou II
'Perie Banou II' with me, are tracking well. Going north west to the British Island of Saint Helena Jon Sanders is well into his historic, record setting tenth circumnavigation and continues to see the wry in almost all the things he gets up to. St Helena is the next stop and the conditions are always a changing. Reason on for more of Jon's unique perspective of the world.
Posted on 25 Feb
2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous at the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta
Some photos taken by LaFoto at the 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous which was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta. The 2017 Jeanneau Rendezvous was part of the inaugural Sail Peninsula Regatta from Martha Cove on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. It was a great regatta with a stern chaser race held on the Friday night, followed by a long distance race to Blairgowrie on Saturday in a glamorous five to ten knots, then finally an awesome medium distance race off Safety Beach in 25-35 knots...
Posted on 21 Feb
Super Series Sailing Spectacular
News arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to entertain Beau Geste and SMB During the week, news arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to keep Beau Geste and SMB entertained at the sharp end of the 52 bracket. Two other camps were linked to other former 52 Super Series craft, Phoenix and Spookie, but the one touted as going after Phoenix has denied it, saying that Hasso (SAP) Plattner of Germany has bought her.
Posted on 20 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
Tenth blog from on board Perie Banou II
The irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans The sailor who cannot garden; the irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans he knows so well. After his ribs episode on the quay in Cape Town, and making more friends everywhere he goes, Jon is now making for St Helena. So here, in his typical rapid-fire style are his latest exploits...
Posted on 17 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
Beneteau Open Day at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday. The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday.
Posted on 16 Feb
Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line
At sea for 20 days, Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.
Posted on 11 Feb
Six weeks to go to 2017’s Gold Coast International Boat Show
Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics. Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics, live entertainment and boating education every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
Posted on 10 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb