June 13, 2014
Coast Guard releases report on
sinking of the tall ship Bounty
U.S. Coast Guard yesterday released its report of the investigation
into the October 2012 sinking of the tall ship Bounty, during which one
crewmember died and another remains missing and is presumed dead, off
the coast of Cape Hatteras.
Despite the fact that the massive
Hurricane Sandy was heading up the East Coast and forecast to come
ashore near New Jersey, the captain of the Bounty, which was built for
the Marlon Brando film "Mutiny on the Bounty," made a decision to leave
New London, Conn., on Oct. 25, 2012, heading south.
Oct. 28, the ship was in trouble and being battered by massive waves
about 123 miles off Cape Hatteras. A decision was made to abandon
ship at daylight, but overnight, the crew was forced to go ahead and
abandon the sinking vessel.
In the early morning hours of
Monday, Oct. 29, two MH-60 Jayhawks were dispatched from Air Station
Elizabeth City and, despite the risk to their own lives, the crews of
the two helicopters rescued 14 Bounty crew members.
in the report conclude that a combination of faulty management and crew
risk assessment procedures contributed to the sinking. Specifically,
choosing to navigate a vessel in insufficient material
condition in close proximity to an approaching hurricane with an
inexperienced crew was highlighted.
As a result of the
investigation, the report recommends that the Coast Guard review the
existing policy for attraction vessels, including vessel manning and
The report also lists such recommendations
as that the HMS Bounty Organization establish organizational
policy that dictates vessel operational parameters based on weather,
sea state or destination, and also establish organizational policy and
requirements for hiring of a professional engineer in the event they
operate a vessel in the future.
The report may be accessed at https://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/browse.do?channelId=-18374.