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Old 31-10-2012, 05:55   #226
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Re: HMS Bounty abandoned in Hurricane Sandy

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Originally Posted by sparau View Post
I really hope that isn't true, it seems hard to believe.

The boat was for sale. I was part of a sailing club that had tickets to tour her. We don't KNOW, but I suspect that someone (perhaps the owner, not the Captain) said, "Go ahead and go" -- based on potential income once she got here.

One of the critical decisions that took down the TITANIC was the owners who wanted to make a big splash in the news by surprising everyone and arriving in NYC early. So they went too fast through a known ice field. Such accidents are usually a series of mistakes, not just one, but the comment that the boat was built to be a movie set was a stunning one. He's right -- it was.

May well have been retrofitted afterwards but I doubt it was built to be as stout as she looked from the beginning. I don't know.
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Old 31-10-2012, 05:59   #227
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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The news article said 40 MPH winds which equates to 34.8 knot winds.....really?? Something was seriously wrong and it wasn't high winds because those are not high winds.
They recorded gusts of 90 once Sandy got to shore.

We don't know what went wrong to compromise this boat to the point that they couldn't handle it. Average (average) wave was 18 foot from what they're saying here, but surely they knew that some individual waves could be much better. No power means no steering if they couldn't have canvas up for some reason, then get hit by an unexpectedly big wave broadside, and for all we know a hatch gave way. Maybe one had a defective bolt and it gave away.

Most of the crew survived, so eventually we will find out but I don't want to criticize anyone yet.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:12   #228
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames

Zeehag is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. She said CREW. They followed their captain's orders into terror and for one unfortunate crew-member, death. Unless they were going to mutiny, that's all they could do.

I call it extremely brave. I am quite sure the CREW was very brave. The Captain misjudge something. The owner may have told him to meet the schedule, but he had the right and obligation to keep his ship and crew out of harm's way. While this storm was big, it is possible he had no reason to expect such extreme dangers.

I will ASSUME the crew were stout and brave. I am reserving judgment on the captain. I don't know what information he had at the time.
I think "extremely brave" is a bit dramatic. It's not like they were going to brought up on charges if they refused to sail. Weren't most paying volunteers? In hindsight, I think most of the crew (and us) would have said ... "see you later Captain."
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:15   #229
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It's a new twist on the cautionary tale of the sea, to me, because of the training vessel aspect. For those of us that have sailed on training boats, and have friends and acquaintances who do it regularly, there is a sense of total safety and confidence. Just like my own kids trust me on the boat because they don't know any better, adventurous and inexperienced souls are aboard these vessels.

Certainly, since time immemorial, hardly-paid greenhands have been going to sea under the impression that the captain is infallible, and I'll admit that my personality isn't well-suited to the "Divine Right" authority structure on large boats, even though I understand why they operate that way. It sounds like some of the crew were scared heading out, and I wonder what happens to the code of the sea in this situation. It *would* have been a mutiny to refuse to go, but I wonder if they talked about it.

If it was an insurance fix, it put non-complicit participants in grave danger. That would be truly despicable, and hard to believe. But when something has been for sale for a long time, and the owner's heart has moved away from it, that tends to manifeat somewhere.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:39   #230
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

What are the facts that we do know and what additional information is needed to understand this tragic event.

Fact: The captain went to sea knowing the dangers.

Speculation: By his prior experience with the boat he thought that those dangers could be overcome.

Fact: The surge from the hurricane would damage many boats remaining in the harbour.

Speculation: Less damage to the boat would happen if at sea was the mindset.

Fact: The boat was built in the early 60's as a movie prop.

Specutlation: The movie prop may not have been built as soundly as the original Bounty and the retro fit may have been inadequate.

Fact: Need to know the insurance situation.
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Old 31-10-2012, 06:48   #231
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
What are the facts that we do know and what additional information is needed to understand this tragic event.

Fact: The captain went to sea knowing the dangers.

Speculation: By his prior experience with the boat he thought that those dangers could be overcome.

Fact: The surge from the hurricane would damage many boats remaining in the harbour.

Speculation: Less damage to the boat would happen if at sea was the mindset.


Fact: The boat was built in the early 60's as a movie prop.

Specutlation: The movie prop may not have been built as soundly as the original Bounty and the retro fit may have been inadequate.

Fact: Need to know the insurance situation.
I have to disagree on some of this. I think when they left the harbor it was far from known where on the East Coast Sandy would make landfall, and I'm quite sure CT was not a high probability. Besides, how many other similar size vessels left port for that reason. The only ones I heard of were the Navy ships in Norfolk which are hardly a comparison.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:04   #232
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

I've noticed that several people have made statement about the dangers of motoring into a large sea in a wooden vessel. I would just point out that given their position relative to the storm center and presumably on a southbound course that they would have been running with the wind and seas, not pounding into them. The captain kept the boat well clear of the shoals at Cape Hatteras and quite far from the center of the storm. If this had been a normal hurricane he may well have been outside of the major wind field. I find it interesting that two years in a row we've had two monster hurricanes. Both Sandy and Irene had tropical storm force wind fields about 1000 miles across. I grew up in the Florida hurricane belt and sometimes when a hurricane went up the west coast we barely got a breeze on the east coast (120 miles) and that was when we were on the strong side of the hurricane. These two hurricanes were very different, maybe they should not have even ben called hurricanes, but we'll need a new name for this type of storm. If the captain made his decision based on his experience with a normal hurricane, he clearly did not understand what he was heading into. There's an old saying; Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement, if it doesn't kill you.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:05   #233
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
I think "extremely brave" is a bit dramatic. It's not like they were going to brought up on charges if they refused to sail. Weren't most paying volunteers? In hindsight, I think most of the crew (and us) would have said ... "see you later Captain."

Unless someone was cowering in a corner refusing to help, I would call it "extremely brave." The reports we have now is of winds over 90k. I can't imagine they did not try to save that ship. BRAVE.

I hope we're not going to nitpick every single word choice people make, but it appears that they apparently waited too long to abandon ship as they had considerable difficulty deploying the life rafts. According to reports here (and the Captain was from here so it's being covered), three people went into the water trying to get into life rafts. One crew managed to get in the raft. The other two was the known death and the missing Captain.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:06   #234
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

OK I'll change it

Fact: There was a possiblility that the hurricane would make landfall at the harbour where the Bounty was docked. Even if not, the size of the storm would cause havic to a large area.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:08   #235
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancelot9898 View Post
What are the facts that we do know and what additional information is needed to understand this tragic event.

Fact: The captain went to sea knowing the dangers.

Speculation: By his prior experience with the boat he thought that those dangers could be overcome.

Fact: The surge from the hurricane would damage many boats remaining in the harbour.

Speculation: Less damage to the boat would happen if at sea was the mindset.

Fact: The boat was built in the early 60's as a movie prop.

Specutlation: The movie prop may not have been built as soundly as the original Bounty and the retro fit may have been inadequate.

Fact: Need to know the insurance situation.

I think the "fact" of insurance tars people based only on speculation.

The "fact" that the ship would have been safer at sea completely ignores the *fact* that lives were put at risk to save an object.

I will wait for the Board of Inquiry, which can look at all the issues.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:09   #236
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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Originally Posted by Calypso52 View Post
I hope sometime we will hear what she was doing out there sailing to windward in such a well forecast weather event. Sailing to meet a schedule? #1 Bad Idea.
I know we have the benefit of hindsight etc etc but I have to agree; experienced skipper or not he seems to have made a grave error for at least 1 crew member and the ship itself. I cannot see, even without hindsight, how anyone would have thought it was a wise move to set sail with this size of a storm headed towards or near you. Hopefully this will serve as a lesson to us not to underestimate approaching storms.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:17   #237
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Unless someone was cowering in a corner refusing to help, I would call it "extremely brave." The reports we have now is of winds over 90k. I can't imagine they did not try to save that ship. BRAVE.

I hope we're not going to nitpick every single word choice people make, but it appears that they apparently waited too long to abandon ship as they had considerable difficulty deploying the life rafts. According to reports here (and the Captain was from here so it's being covered), three people went into the water trying to get into life rafts. One crew managed to get in the raft. The other two was the known death and the missing Captain.
I'm not questioning bravery once they were at sea and in trouble. My point was that I wouldn't call it brave to leave port and sail directly into a monster hurricane when you have a choice. I'm sure there was peer pressure and all that, so maybe a truly brave response would have been to go against peer pressure and say ... no, this is too dangerous and I respectfully decline.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:37   #238
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
They recorded gusts of 90 once Sandy got to shore.
They weren't in the hurricane itself at any point. The master figured he would be in the navigable semicircle with following winds. I'm not sure that it was unreasonable per se and I think that all this speculation goes probably too far.

I have myself left harbor in a forecast F8 with a full gale blowing, and with a difficult passage around a notorious cape -- Portland Bill. The harbormaster warned me sternly not to go out. If I had wrecked my boat, I guess everyone would be saying the same things about me as this poor dead skipper who can't defend himself. But before setting off, I calculated that it would be ok since most of the passage was right downwind, and was carefully calculated to avoid any kind of wind over tide.

In the event, it was hairy getting out of the little harbor (West Bay, in Lyme Bay, a notorious graveyard of ships), and it was somewhat hairy making my southing to clear Portland Bill -- on a reach with green water coming on deck and even into the cockpit, sailing on staysail and deeply reefed main alone.

But once we had gotten far enough South and turned downwind, I took in the staysail and main completely, put out just a little bit of the yankee, and the sailing then became a blast and complete pleasure -- blasting Mahler in the cockpit and surfing on the big waves. We made 50 miles before lunch time. I think someone even made coffee.

That was in a F8 with 50 knot gusts. If the conditions for the Bounty were as reported, a F7 or so, then maybe the captain had a reasonable belief that it wouldn't be beyond the capabilities of a 180 foot sailing ship.

If I had been the skipper of the Bounty, would have worried about the sea state, with a gale blowing against the Gulf Stream, but I don't know what it was like out there or what the captain could have reasonably have expected. When I made my passage described above, I timed it carefully to avoid any wind against tide, and I went far South to stand far, far, far off the terrible Portland Bill.

I think it is possible that the last passage of the Bounty was maybe not so recklessly planned as some have speculated, and that the vessel simply didn't hold up as well as it should have. Motoring downwind in big, steep seas would have produced a violent motion -- maybe that is what did the Bounty in. I wonder why they weren't sailing? Square rigged ships are just made for sailing downwind. But maybe we've speculated enough, and should just wait for some of the crew to start telling the real story.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:41   #239
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

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She was built as a prop to be burned at the end of the film. When she was on the ways at Samples Shipyard in Boothbay harbor a number of years back she was a wreck. The yard did some major bottom work but she was rotten from the bull works to the water line. I knew one of the Master Shipwrights that worked on her. When I talked to him after she was off the ways. He said be careful where you step you could fall through the deck. My question is why didn't they come in to Norfolk when they had the chance. Knowing the history of the Outerbanks and the impending storm, Then again she has been up for sale for sometime... I smell a rat... To bad the Captian and one of the crew lost their life. We will never know. It reaks of poor judgment too me.
An important point. While it is possible to build a replica 200 year old ship, the infrastructure and the manpower to maintain it is no longer common. Napoleonic-era British warships were expected to last 10-12 years before retirement as hospital ship or "receiving hulks".

Bounty was 52 years old. Pride of Baltimore was considerably younger, if I recall.

Unlike current shipbuilding methods, a wooden ship is like a WWII bomber: "100,000 rivets flying in formation". I can see one foundering if critical planks were sprung, and I can see that happening on an indifferently maintained wooden ship of any age. Pumps are customarily going most of the time, because they intrinsically constantly leak at the seams. I am surprised to learn that there was no (apparent) back up to powered pumps in the form of manual or chain pumps. Perhaps if enough seams were opened or planks were sprung, this was out of the question.

I would imagine that, even adjusted for inflation, the cost of a truly old warship like USS Constitution has exceeded the cost of her construction exponentially. Wooden ships are only as strong as the willingness to pay for their upkeep, and that can be steep.
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Old 31-10-2012, 07:52   #240
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Re: Merged Threads: HMS Bounty

Let's not forget the prior post which revealed that the cap's original track was well to the east of the projected path of the storm. Based on what we do know, it seems reasonable that there was an indpt., intervening event which caused the ship to take on water, which in turn could have caused the engines to shut down, which ko'd the pumps, etc., etc. The fact that the ship wound up in the midst of the storm more likely indicates a decision to make for the nearest port vs. a bad decision to sail into the storm at the get-go.

The conclusion that it was poor judgment to ever leave the dock may turn out to be correct, but it should be analyzed in view of some of the known facts at this point, and also take into account that we're talking about a very experienced captain who presumably was well informed with the latest weather info. We know little at this point about the condition of the vessel, except that it had apparently been sailed all over the world and had therefore successfully encountered many times over the conditions it wound up sinking in.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that Sandy could have had nothing to do with the sinking of the HMS Bounty, except of course to exacerbate the rescue efforts.
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