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Why did the Bounty sink?

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

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  1. Blue Ghost

    Blue Ghost Member

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    Thanks, mister moderator. I rarely come to this forum anymore and didn't see the story until my own posting was moved. Many apologies.
  2. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    why Did the Bounty Sink

    The hearings by the NTSB started today in Virginia. It was on one of the workboat sites that I frequent. I'm not sure of the rules regarding links to another site but, apparently there is a live feed
  3. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
  4. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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    Hey, hey, be nice now, sailboaters discovered the new world starting with Leiv Ericson, then 500 years later Christofer Columbus, brave men and all sailboaters, not stinkpotters...:cool:

    As for the Bounty, easy to be Monday morning quarterbacks and all that, but the primary responsibility of any captain should be the safety of the ship and the crew, knowingly sailing into a hurricane is pizz-poor judgement. Nuff said..:(
  5. karo1776

    karo1776 Senior Member

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    Maybe not deep enough...
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not upset with you at all rcrapps. You are absolutely right in your assessment (although murdered is definitely an inappropriate word)
    In this business our first mistake or miscalculation is often our last and is what we're remembered for. All previous good goes out the window.

    I'd have wanted that boat out of New England too with the tract Sandy was originally predicted to take, however no way would I want to meet her at Hatteras, especially with the Chesapeake there to hide in. The rot is something I'm just hearing about for the first time. So I'd doubly not want to meet Sandy in open waters.
  7. Norseman

    Norseman Senior Member

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  8. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Good on you Norseman, we needed a post that shifts the pendulum someway to remind everyone that mistakes are made, and sometimes those mistakes are terribly magnified when your profile or your position demands perfection, which is an endeavour, not a reality.
  9. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I just finished reading an article in Soundings on the sinking, which included the related communications and am struck and dumbstruck by a few things. Most notably that all bilge pumps on the vessel were powered by AC. How common is that on larger vessels? All smaller vessels have them powered by DC. Also that there were no Jabsco pumps on the vessel. This just seems so wrong to me. There was also a note that the bilge pumps were clogged. For any less experienced boaters it is imperative to keep you bilges, especially the areas around the bilge pumps, clear and clean. Finally there was a communication from the vessel at 2215 on 10/28 that may have pointed to the fault for the sinking, and it points to the engineer: "We can only run the generator for a short time. I just found out that the filters you (home base) got were the wrong filters." I think the engineer will have to answer why he didn't check that he had the correct filters.

    Additional note: the water temp was 68*F. Estimated survival time in a survival suit was 120 hours.
  10. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    On large vessels all Bilge Pumps are AC supplied.

    One needs to question why the filters needed to be changed so often - dirty mud filled tanks maybe?
  11. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    Gee, Ed, you should cut them (Engineer and Home Base) some slack.

    Remember, it is the Captain's ticket that is always on the line for every little oops that happens.

    Speaking of an oops moment, a female crew member, Claudene Christian, did not survive the sinking and Captain Grant Howerton thought it would be appropriate timing to be thankful for his experiences onboard and thusly displayed a sign so stating. Cannot help but wonder if that would have been his jester if it had been his wife that did not survive the sinking?
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Sorry, but assuring that the right fuel filters are on board is absolutely the job of the engineer, not the captain. The captain's job is to authorize the purchase. I'm afraid I don't understand your last paragraph at all, nor its relevance.

    K1W1, thank for adding to my education. I assume the reason is capacity. Still seems to me that DC and Jabsco pumps would be smart to have as back up even if regs don't require them. It didn't sound like there was any filter changing going on at all since they found the wrong filters when needed. As you know, it's not unusual for filters to clog when the tanks are shaken up (18' seas), but the wrong filters will stop you cold at the first attempt to replace.

    Although I definitely don't agree with the captain's decision to round Hatteras in a hurricane when safe harbor was available in the Chesapeake, I get the feeling that fault for the sinking is going to lie with the engineer.
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    IMG_3480.JPG

    From my living room wall. She'd put herself aground near Greenport as practice. Always a thrill when she came home. She'll be missed.
  14. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    Perhaps a bit premature.

    An interesting read:

    Sunk: The Incredible Truth About the 'Bounty,' a Ship That Never Should Have Sailed | Outdoor Adventure | OutsideOnline.com

  15. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    There are a lot of scew ups here.
    1. The valves to the fuel tank sight glasses should have been shut, especially in rough seas.
    2.The boat should've never crossed Cape Hatteras and should've hid in the chesapeke. Even if it sank there, it wouldn't have been totally lost, and chances of human life would probably be higher.
    3. Why were they under sail in Hurricane winds?
    4. Why did the bilge have so much debris that every bilge pump clogged?
    5. Why didn't they focus on trying to stop the massive flow of water from the forepeak?
    6. The engineer should've inspected the fuel filters when he put them on board.

    The combination of the perfect storm.
  16. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Not a bit. Wrong filters and an engine room not adequately monitored. Again though, not exonerating the captain. He screwed up. But it's still the engineers job. And before you say he was injured, we've all worked through worse (at least I have) because the job has to get done.

    Ditto Capt. J.
  17. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    When things go really-really bad it is not usually one thing (or even two things) that fail but a number of things go wrong all at once.

    Each gremlin or thing that was overlooked, forgotten, "allowed" to go wrong, each failure, each acceptance of risk, each unplanned and unforeseen shift or escalation of the weather caught up with the Bounty.

    The result was the worst possible ending; the loss of life and the loss of the vessel.

    Consider this (some of the gremlins):
    -2 micron filters instead of 20 micron filters alone might be ok
    -the sail ripping-problem alone might be ok
    -the sight glass breaking alone might be ok
    -restarting the main alone might be ok
    -restarting the generator alone might be ok
    -a key member of the crew with a back injury alone might be ok
    -bilge pumps clogging alone might be ok
    -insufficient bilge pump back up alone might be ok
    -debris in the bilge alone might be ok
    -the decision to try to out-sail a major storm alone might be ok

    the above going wrong all at once in extreme weather is a disaster!

    Everyone, accepts some risk with every voyage.

    Obviously, we attempt to mitigate and control the risk to the lowest acceptable level.

    To the reasonable person, attempting to out run a major hurricane in the Bounty seems extremely high risk.

    To a highly experienced qualified professional tall ship Captain it may seem moderately risky.


    Apparently, the Captain was in fact, an extremely experienced and respected professional in a pretty elite field (tall ship captains).
    I would suspect that the Captain of the Bounty did not reasonably expect everything to go wrong all at once.

    But it did, and he is ultimately responsible.

    The Captain, weather in command of a military or civilian craft, is ultimately responsible for everything that occurs and everything that does not occur.

    Responsibility is the price of, and the liability of leadership.

    That is why the title of "Captain" or "Commander" is such a respected and honored title.

    There are some very valuable lessons in this tragic incident.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    All very true RT46, but the captain is dead. The engineer isn't, and almost all of those gremlins were his responsibility. Still I wouldn't expect the same caliber or responsibility of crew as I would on say a ferry or such. It's just unrealistic. We all know what's out there walking the docks. Most of us have had crew that talked a good game but soon we'd like to have dropped off at the next buoy. All just very sad. I think the lesson to be taken away is how little mistakes can have devastating consequences. Thankfully more didn't perish.
  19. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    NYCAP,

    I totally agree the engineer is also culpable for failures in his area of responsibility.
  20. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    On a classed vessel the sight glass valves should be self closing.
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