Monday, October 29, 2012

The Bounty is gone

Sunday nite, the tall ship Bounty sank in hurricane-whipped seas about 90 miles off Cape Hatteras.  Fourteen of the sixteen people aboard have been rescued.  Apparently 13 of the crew had made it to life rafts when the remaining 3 were washed off the deck.  One of those three made it to a life raft.  Reportedly all of the crew had donned survival suits with strobes, so there is still hope for the missing two crew members.  The search continues, but in the very difficult conditions created by hurricane Sandy.

Our prayers go out to the crew of Bounty and their families - especially to the families of the two missing crew.  But a nagging question remains...  with today's weather predictions and weather information, why did the Captain of the Bounty put her off of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic" in a hurricane?

Bounty appeared in several motion pictures, including the original "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando.



Drew Frye said...

Me thinks there should have been a mutiny reenactment a few days earlier.

Given the excellent forecasting of this storm--they predicted its crazy track with remarkable accuracy--I can only assume the captain thought he was a "tough guy" and would give everyone a thrill. I'm guessing his "expereince" did not include sailing a boat in tough conditions for the size of the boat; he'd never had his fanny kicked in the small boat. A shame.

Robert Salnick said...

I agree Drew - It is difficult to imagine what the Captain had been thinking.

Drew Frye said...

I'm guessing...

* The crew was volenteer, was using vacation time, and thus had a schedual to keep. Scheduals are very dangerous.
* Being square rigged, she was not very weatherly. He started to go east of Sandy, realized he couldn't beat into the wind, so he decided to squeeze between Sandy and shore, where he could get following winds.
* Eventually, realized this wasn't working and tried to head east again. He thought the engine would save him. Too late, too small, too old.

It seems there were 3 things they could have done: Wait, sail to Florida via or near Bermuda, or duck into the Chesapeake where there is shelter for a boat that size. The storm was not too bad there. Option 4 was unthinking.

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