edschweppe: Submarine warfare qualification badge, aka "dolphins" (submarine insignia)
Back in August of 2012, I spent a day playing tourist along the southern New England coast, including a visit to the replica tall ship Bounty. [1] She was originally built for the 1962 version of the movie Mutiny on the Bounty. I have a few pictures of her on Flickr.

Two months later, following a month-long shipyard availability in Boothbay Harbor, ME, Bounty sailed to New London, CT for an "Exchange of Vessel Tours" with the recently-commissioned Virigina-class submarine USS Mississippi (SSN 782); the exchange occurred on October 25. The next item on her itinerary was an event in St. Petersburg, FL scheduled for November 10; Bounty sailed for St. Petersburg that evening.

However, there was a storm brewing - Hurricane Sandy.

Bounty did not make it to St. Petersburg. On October 29, she sank off Cape Hatteras. Of the sixteen persons on board at the time of the sinking, fourteen were safely rescued by US Coast Guard helicopters flying out of Elizabeth City, NC. One person was recovered and pronounced dead at the hospital ashore. The captain's body was never recovered and he is presumed dead.

The National Transportation Safety Board has now released its report on Bounty's sinking, MAB-14-03 - Sinking of Tall Ship Bounty (914KB PDF file). Based on information gathered by the Coast Guard, the NTSB declared the probable cause of Bounty's sinking to be
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.

The details given in the NTSB report are damning )

I am profoundly grateful that I had no closer connection to this tragedy than having visited her once in port. I do know somebody who was considering joining Bounty's crew; thankfully, said person had yet to do so when Bounty sank, and thus was not aboard on that fatal final voyage.

[1]They used to have a website at http://www.tallshipbounty.org/. Said website has effectively disappeared into the aether, although the Internet Archive Wayback Machine does have some snapshots.
edschweppe: Submarine warfare qualification badge, aka "dolphins" (submarine insignia)
Back in August, I spent a fun day playing seaport tourist, including a tour of the replica HMS Bounty as she was making a port call in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Today, she sank off Cape Hatteras, courtesy of Hurricane Sandy:
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The Coast Guard rescued 14 members of a crew forced to abandon the tall ship HMS Bounty caught in Hurricane Sandy off the North Carolina Outer Banks and continued the search Monday for two other crew members.

[ ... ]

The director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin, said the tall ship had left Connecticut last week en route for St. Petersburg, Fla.

"They were staying in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center," she said. "They were trying to make it around the storm."

[ ... ]

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Operational Commander for the Atlantic Area, told ABC’s "Good Morning America" that at the time of the distress call the ship was taking on two feet of water an hour.

He said the crew abandoned ship into canopied, rubber life rafts with about 10 feet of water on board.

I presume that the two life rafts mentioned by VADM Parker are the ones in this picture:

Looking aft from the helm

The sea can be unforgiving.


edschweppe: A closeup of my face, taken at Star Island during the All-Star II conference in 2009 (Default)
Edmund Schweppe

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