Skip to comments.Crew member rescued after abandoning ship dies (HMS Bounty sunk)
Posted on 10/30/2012 5:21:24 AM PDT by I still care
click here to read article
Let’s not compare a square-rigged sailing ship with modern naval vessels, shall we?
Three thousand years of experience are engraved on the sailor’s heart: any port in a storm. Is anyone seriously arguing that the prudent mariner of a sailing vessel in storm conditions, within sight of harbor, will say to himself “No thanks; we’ll just loiter out here”. It is too ridiculous for words.
Large modern vessels can be sent to sea because their keel dimensions allow them to wide out practically any wave in relative stability. In harbor during a storm, vessels like aircraft carriers or large crude carriers risk being driven onto a lee shore and stranded without hope of recovery. A vessel of the Bounty’s size could easily recover from a beaching.
I do not presume to match my nautical skill with that of the Bounty’s (Late? RIP) master, but will only say that I don’t understand why he risked his vessel and all the souls aboard as he did.
Ship sank 90 miles SE of Cape Hatteras, NC. Capt. ordered abandon ship at 4:30 AM.
More than a thousand ships have sunk off this coast since records began in 1526. Most were trying to clear Hatteras. Currents and shoals constantly shifting.
This list even includes a German WWII UBoat with an enigma code machine that has been recovered.
A very good website about the Graveyard of the Atlantic- the Outer Banks: http://www.sunkenshipsouterbanks.com/
And the NC Maritime Museum: http://www.graveyardoftheatlantic.com/index.htm
I think you paint a persuasive scenario. However, Bounty’s master, knowing that his crew was incapable of managing the vessel under storm conditions, especially if diesel power were to be lost, made a foolhardy and unseamanlike decision not to seek safe harbor. Running under bare poles in extreme conditions, he gambled his ship and crew on the expectation of not losing power. I am very sorry for this loss, and do not understand, given the abundant advance warnings, why a more prudent course was not taken.
Well then, I guess someone just wanted this to happen and sent the ship out in a storm.
Two souls and a great ship lost, RIP.
This reminds me of the sinking of Windjammer’s Fantome, which perished in 1998 in Hurricane Mitch, taking down 31 crew members with her. http://www.fortogden.com/fantommiamiherald.html
Wow. What a story.
It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it.
Canadian article on the sinking with a lot more detail:
Here is Claudene Christian’s Linked In Page:
And her self started business in cheerleader dolls— she was an entrepreneur and risk taker. A real go getter and it is a tragedy:
This was interesting. It showed that Ted Turner actually owned the ship for about 10 years in the late 80’s early 90’s. Perhaps that why he was open to the Heston’s desire to remake an authentic version of “Treasure Island”.
They keep talking about POTC “Dead Man’s Chest” (an awful movie, even if you liked the franchise but Treasure Island (1990) IMHO is one of the great sea movies of all time, mostly ignored by the MSM. Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee (a terrifying Blind Pew) Christian Bale. I posted a small excerpt previously on this thread.
Square-rigged, three-masted ship
1960: built by Smith and Rhuland of Lunenburg
1960: launched from Lunenburg
1962: appears in 1962 Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty
1986: media mogul Ted Turner buys the ship
1993: Turner donates it to the Fall River Chamber of Commerce in Fall River, Mass.
2001: sold to Long Island businessman Robert Hansen
2001: ship takes on water, begins to sink at its berth in Fall River, Mass.
2001: Long Island-based HMS Bounty Organization buys the ship to use it for educational programs
2006: appears in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
2006-07: ship undergoes extensive renovations
2010: ship reportedly listed for sale for more than US$4 million
Click here for more information on HMS Bounty and the original HMAV Bounty, commissioned in 1787.
I agree, doesn’t make sense to me.
Yes, very heartbreaking.
I spent a week on her in 1990, and it was incredible. In her early years, someone had remarked “she sailed with amazing grace.”
That set a tradition. Every evening as the crew prepared to set sail, they would blast Amazing Grace over the sound system — the bagpipe version, followed by other versions (Judy Collins, etc). One by one, the sails caught wind, making that “whoop” sound, and she would start to move slowly, picking up more and more speed until all of the sails were up.
As all of this went on, I would see people on other small sailboats anchored nearby with their mouths wide open. I still get chills thinking about it.
To this day, every time I hear “Amazing Grace,” I think of the Fantome and her crew.
I cannot see any good sensible excuse why they were out at sea off the coast of North Carolina during a hurricane that was tracking for a week or more
I agree. Tragic miscalculation. They must have sailed a south-southwesterly track. I could see a decision to go due east from Connecticut in an attempt to save the ship, but never to try to get to Florida during one of the most massive storms in our history.
“A SHIP IS SAFER AT SEA THAN IN PORT!
I am going to call BS on that one. The Elissa, Galveston’s tall ship, successfully rode out Hurricane Ike while moored at her berth in Galveston. There was an 18-foot storm surge — about 50% higher than reported in NYC. Further, Ike was a more violent storm than Sandy. It was Cat 2, borderline Cat 3.
Also, if you are going to ride out a storm at sea, best policy is to avoid the storm. That means sailing out well to the east — not through water shallow enough that the masts stick up above the water. They also could have gone north to Boston or even Halifax and waited Sandy out.
Sounds kind of like they were more concerned about meeting a schedule (Bounty was supposed to tie up in Galveston in November and stay over the winter) than anything else.
Thanks for the links.
From the Nova Scotia article:
The Bounty was planning to avoid the storm by sailing east before heading south, says a Facebook post from Thursday. By Saturday, the ship reported it was 400 kilometres east of Chesapeake Bay, and a post said the captain expected to encounter bad weather that evening.
A fifty year old vessel, apparently motoring on a windward tack and against the Gulf Stream. Not what Captain Bligh would have done.
I should clarify my previous post. The last line is not from the article, but is my own observation.
*A fifty year old vessel, apparently motoring on a windward tack and against the Gulf Stream. Not what Captain Bligh would have done.*
It is mysterious that Sandy Christian a direct descendant, of the original HMS Bounty’s leader of the mutiny, Fletcher Christian, happens to die when the rebuilt Bounty founders.
I remember two things about this vessel. The first is that I was actually aboard her in the late 1960's as a boy. The second was last week, I was relating to a co-worker of mine about the history of Captain William Bligh, and the fact that I was aboard this replica back then, and could actually recall how *small* it really was as a ship. Now, I'll have to relate the final chapter of the tale, with her sinking on Monday...
The exact same place *I* visited her, when I was about 11-12 years old. This would have been circa 1966-1967 or thereabouts...