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A Sea Story: The Wreck of the Replica HMS Bounty

Anonymous Coward writes | about a year ago

Transportation 0

An anonymous reader writes "On October 25, 2012, as residents of the US east coast made frantic preparations for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, the captain of the HMS Bounty (a replica tall ship constructed fifty years earlier for the Marlon Brando film 'Mutiny on the Bounty') made a foolish decision, with the assent of his crew, to proceed with a scheduled vogage from New London, CT for St. Petersburg FL. CNN's Thom Patterson has written a long story with the benefit of survivor testimony to the NTSB and US Coast Guard. Captain Robin Walbridge thought he could outrun the hurricane, and besides, he'd 'sailed into hurricanes before'. The crew (officially there were no passengers, a fact that allowed the ship to evade certain safety regulations) consisted of tall ship enthusiasts with widely varying amounts of nautical experience, perhaps taken by the vast historical literature on the great age of sailing. A day and a half into the voyage, Captain Walbridge altered his plan of sailing east of the storm, to sailing south and west of it. A day later, the Bounty was less than 200 miles from the eye of the storm; the engine room started to flood, and the pumps were jammed with debris being torn off by the storm's 70 mph winds. The end came early next day, the Bounty was knocked down by a huge wave, tossing the captain and several crew members overboard. The Coast Guard rescued fourteen of the crew members, but Claudene Christian (an adventure-loving novice who had enlisted as crew a few months before) was dead, and Captain Walbridge's body has not been found."

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