Click for Walker Click for Nordhavn Click for Burger List Your Boat Click for Cheoy Lee

Why did the Bounty sink?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Don Novello, Nov 3, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Don Novello

    Don Novello New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Cowes
  2. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    lake jackson, tx
    It's hard to say without knowing how she was built. I imagine they will interview the crew and come to a conclusion. Anyone that thinks they can "skirt" a hurricane is using pretty poor judgement or hasn't spent much time in open water.
  3. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,583
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    It s a disease called Accute Getheritis which has killed many pilots and captains. Seems that they had to get to Florida and made the decision not to delay departure and then, worse, to squeeze between the storm and the coast to get favorable winds. This meant sailing in a storm thru the most treacherous waters in the North Atlantic (off cape Hatteras aka the graveyard of the Atlantic).

    The forecast was 100% accurate and in the two days before the sinking they posted position reports over a storm track forecast. Also a few months ago the captain was interviewed bragging about skirting hurricanes in the past.

    He paid with his own life and luckily only killed one of his crew thanks to the skills and courage of the two USCG chopper crews who put their lives on the line to save the other 14
  4. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    I would hazard a guess that the loss went something like this.

    1 Old wooden boat has a few leaks that can be kept at bay with the pumps

    2 Old Wooden boat has dirt in tanks that gets sloshed around by action of seas

    3 Dirt blocks fuel filters engines stop

    4 Engines/Gensets stop , pumps stop

    5 Water continues to seep in till it overcomes the positive buoyancy and boat sinks.

    In Points 2,3 and 4 Dirt could be replaced by water getting in through pipes/ vents etc in heavy weather- same end result

    There was a court case after an old Sailing ship sank in the UK from a dirt in the fuel scenario that led to it's total loss with 3 casualties.
    Maria Asumpta - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There has been a well known one involving the tanker Braer where water got into the fuel via a broken vent line
    MV Braer - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There was an MAIB investigation years ago where in the conclusion it stated that "Vessels should not proceed to sea with the Bilge Pumps running", these words no doubt ruing true today as well.
  5. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Seems reasonable assumptions...

    AND, the old rule the rougher it is the more that goes wrong... and the less you can deal with it!
  6. Duke

    Duke New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Boston
    Because the captain put her in an untenable position. Unfortunately, he managed to kill one of his crew and not just himself by the poor decision making.
  7. Capt. Mike

    Capt. Mike New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Location:
    Nashville TN,
    She is not very deep so do you think she will be raised. Or will she be shredded by the sea.
  8. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,583
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    "Not very deep" ?? Take a look at charts and see how deep it is 90nm off the cape...

    Here is one of the lasp post on FB hours before she went down. See the marked location and the storm path!

    Attached Files:

  9. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    lake jackson, tx
    I read a book about a similar boat heading out in hurricane Mitch thinking they would have a better chance in open water. I think it lost steering which has also been reported in this incident. Once you lose steering or power your chances of survival diminish greatly. I was in Cozumel when Mitch was coming in and drove to the east side of the island to take a look. The waves were maybe 12-15' coming from all directions and the wind was tearing the top 3-4' off of them. I couldn't imagine trying to run a boat through that at night time.
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    Hi,

    I have sailed with a guy who was a close friend of the Captain who was lost in this one. He was greatly affected by this tragedy.

    SV Fantome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,938
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    It was reported that they had a loss of steering. That old wooden boat shouldn't have been where it was in the middle of a hurricane. They should have pulled in Norfolk and holed up there.
  12. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Tragic... but very easy to loose people in those conditions and most were quickly rescued... thank heavens.

    The crew should know what happened and shortly we should too.

    It appeared to be a good boat... but things get rough and go wrong in a hurry.

    Often it is thought safer to go to sea if a bad storm hits... certainly with a large surge the marina can be problematic... but you can secure the best you can and go to a safe place... and maybe loose the boat. Or, go to sea to ride it out as supposedly it is safer. It never is... it may be lower probability of damage or loss to the boat, and if you are a Naval Vessel maybe so but that is a different dynamic. But a pleasure boat... I would rather be safe than sorry and loose the boat and have the crew safe and alive. As you could loose both boat and crew.

    Its the owner's responsibility... he needs to over-ride the Captain on this... insurance will help replace the boat... you can always make more money... but you cannot replace a life.

    The Bounty was for sale
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  13. Berean

    Berean Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    305
    Location:
    Sarasota FL
    This is very plausible, especially given that we know the engines quit. It would be interesting to know if any work had been done below decks recently. I grew up working on old wooden fishing boats. We almost lost one because of sawdust clogging bilge pumps. Just prior there was major bulkhead work completed and the bilges were not thoroughly cleaned. Fortunately, we were able to keep the boat afloat long enough for emergency pumps to be delivered. This occurred in relatively calm conditions, mind you. It would have been much worse in heavy seas. As it was the water was up to my waist in one of the forward compartments!
  14. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Les Etats Unis
    Okay, for those of us land lubbers w/o charts, how deep is the water 90nm off the cape????

    Cheers,
  15. RER

    RER Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,340
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    Approx 2000 fathoms
  16. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Les Etats Unis
    SO....12,000' (roughly)????

    Cheers,
  17. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,583
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Yes, Bounty had been on the hard in Maine, for a month. Plank caulking, bottom paint, new hatches, new dog house, some spar work and also tanks (not sure if it was fuel or water)

    Looks up the HMS Bounty page in facebook, many pictures of the work, some if it done by the crew member who died
  18. Bill106

    Bill106 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    393
    Location:
    Beaufort NC
    Absolutely sad and needless tradegy!

    Anyone with experience in these waters knows how much the Gulfstream can amplify the effects of storms, even "weaker" Cat 1 or 2 storms generate wave actions much greater when winds are pushed against the strong currents. We fish the stream edge and during northeast winds you can see changes from 3-5' seas on the inshore edge heap up to 10-12' on a dotted line along the current rip. The Bounty was right in the middle of the strongest part of the current based on satellite sea surface temps the day before the storm. From his course track it appears he was trying to pass to the east of the storm but changed course and was heading for the inshore side when the storm arrived and didn't make it to the western wall of the stream where seas would have been much smaller. Not that they would have been insignificant, the bottom inshore is littered with wrecks from storms too.

    The article in the link below and video of an interview with the Captain sent chills down my spine. Maybe it's just me getting more conservative in my old age but the notion of actually intentionally sailing into a storm is beyond comprehension on anything less than 500'. His statement "you try to get as close to the eye as you can" is mind numbing! I've been through eyewalls, thankfully anchored in sheltered waters, open ocean? Not if I could help it!

    Bounty's ill-fated trip in face of hurricane scrutinized | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com
  19. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    655
    Location:
    Gone
    Yes... I agree... reiterating the owner should override the Capt. on such safety issues. Stay in port... risk damaging the boat... keep the crew safe.!

    That's Davy Jones Locker and isn't anyone to even bother looking for any of our sorry butts there... unless your a nuclear submarine or famous wreck like the Titanic... and maybe those should be left to Davy Jones... !
  20. revdcs

    revdcs Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Fowey in Cornwall
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.