Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Search for HMS Bounty's Captain called off - investigation begun

by Nancy Knudsen on 3 Nov 2012
Captain Robin Walbridge, confirmed lost at sea .. .
The search for Captain Robin Walbridge, captain of HMS Bounty which was caught in the edge of the fierce Hurricane Sandy this week, has been called off and a formal investigation begun into the incident.

HMS Bounty and its crew abandoned the tall ship early Monday about 90 miles off the coast of North Carolina's Outer Banks near Cape Hatteras. The vessel lost power and started taking on water.


The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 13 crew members after they donned survival suits and managed to climb into two covered life rafts, and one other survivor was pulled from the water.

Bounty Capt. Robin Walbridge, 63, and crew member Claudene Christian never made to the life rafts and disappeared into the roiling ocean. Coast Guard rescue crews recovered the body of Claudene, 42, later that night.

The Coast Guard continued to search for Walbridge by sea and air with hopes he had survived, but Thursday night they suspended their efforts.

According to a news release, the same day the search was called off, Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the Coast Guard fifth District commander, ordered a district formal investigation to determine the cause of the sinking, according to a news release.

Coincidentally, Michael Tougias, an expert on deadly sea tragedies the author of five nonfiction books chronicling heroic and dramatic sea incidents, was interviewed on an American television show about his work.

The Herald Sun reported that when asked by the announcer if any ships would venture out in Hurricane Sandy, his answer was, ‘No way,’' and he continued, 'Only large ships like aircraft carriers can manage that kind of storm in that area. I was so surprised when the news flashed about the Bounty.'

The seas off the coast of the Outer Banks where the crew and the Bounty perished is widely known as the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic,' where many ill-fated ships have been swallowed by the ocean and sailors have lost their lives.

Sailing the coast of North Carolina is a navigational nightmare, according to the National Park Service. Two powerful ocean currents, the cold-water Labrador Current from the north and the warm Gulf Stream from the south, collide near Cape Hatteras.

'You don’t want to be anywhere near the merging currents in a storm,' Tougias was reported as saying. 'There are a whole lot of reasons not to be out there.'

He said the Bounty’s captain and owner had ample notice of the impending hurricane and its scope, Tougias said.

'I think he had a schedule and was trying to outmaneuver the storm,' Tougias said.

The formal Coast Guard investigation will look at a number of facts to find out what happened Monday morning, when the Bounty went down.

The investigation will aim to determine the cause and will look at whether equipment failure; misconduct or inattention to duty; negligence or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed or certificated person; evidence that any Coast Guard or other government agency personnel caused or contributed to the casualty; and whether the accident should be further investigated by a Marine Board of Investigation.

The formal investigation does not determine civil or criminal responsibility and is expected to take several months to complete.

Colligo Marine 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Kids Polarised Sunglasses from Barz Optics
Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Barz Optics have developed a quality range of junior polarised sunglasses ideal for sailing and fishing. Each pair are supplied with a neoprene case and sunglass retainer.
Posted on 4 Aug
Reducing weight aloft with composite backstays
Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Reducing weight aloft is one of the most cost effective ways of increasing your boat speed and performance. Every kilogram you take out of the rig is roughly equivalent to 4kg added to the bottom of your keel!
Posted on 26 Jul
Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to ban bottled water
Approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. The RQYS Management Committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Posted on 16 Jun
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
2016 Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Day 4
Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Tomorrow the medal race is scheduled for the Lasers and another two races for the three paralympic classes.
Posted on 13 May
CCA presents RCC Award to Scott and Mary Flanders
CCA has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.
Posted on 22 Apr
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb