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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. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    There was no engineer on Bounty, there was a volunteer lawn mower mechanic who had absolutely no clue about marine machinery operation.

    It is the responsibility of the master and the management to ensure that qualified crew are onboard the vessel. If that backpacker volunteer friend of the mate knew anything about marine engineering or seafaring he would not have left New London on that boat.

    That pretend engineer had no authority and he had no qualification or position onboard to even comment on the wisdom of taking that piece of crap boat to sea in any kind of weather, much less into the face of the largest storm to hit the east coast in decades.

    That boat was manned and managed by dangerously incompetent pretenders. The facts of the matter prove that beyond any argument to the contrary.
  2. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Totally agree, and not at all unusual, which is why I worte " 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." However The engin room was still his responsibility volunteer or not, competant or not.
  3. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    The way I see it, it is simple, the guy (or girl) in charge is responsible.

    The Captain/Master/Commander/Operator is ultimately responsible for everything that does and does not happen with the boat.

    I believe there are also individuals or groups of individuals who may, to a lesser degree, share the responsibility, blame or liability, for example:

    A professional licensed and qualified engineer would also be responsible for failures in his area of responsibility. Especially if the failures substantially contributed to the loss of the vessel.

    The "lawn mower mechanic" or a well intentioned volunteer acting reasonably would be held to a lesser degree than a qualified, licensed, professional.
  4. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    There is nothing more reliable than a DC operated rule pump... I don't care how big the boat is, relying on two generators to keep it afloat is plain stupid.

    At least, have an inverter mounted pretty high and dry... But even then, a lighting strike can take your AC power out...

    And an aging woodie that size not having an emergency gas pump?
  5. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Keyword is " volunteers"
    You get what you pay for.
    The trust ( I assume or whoever holds the purse strings ) doesn't have the money or doesn't want to pay the freight.
  6. RT46

    RT46 Senior Member

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    thanks for the link
  7. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
  8. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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  9. OrthoKevin

    OrthoKevin Member

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    Thanks for sharing that Cap! There are old captains and bold captains, but no old, bold captains if I read this right.
  10. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    Based on the after the fact analysis of his decision making process he's "lucky" he only has to answer to one person in the after life. He could have taken the whole crew down with him. And the owner of the boat has more than a little responsibility in all this.

    The whole crew were starry eyed amateurs following a leader who seemed to care more about feeding his ego than safe guarding their lives. He apparently allowed them to use Dap caulk for the seams on at least one side of the hull for crying out loud. And then sailed into a hurricane in a ship taking on water on a very regular basis. While not allowing the crew to test run the gas powered trash pump they carried on board because they were scared of it causing a fire and wearing out the pump. So when it came time to use it in an honest to God emergency it wouldn't run for more than a few seconds. Imagime that? A pump stored for months with gas in the tank, carburetor and never test run not running when needed.

    And to this day some/all of the crew still seem to thnk he was a great captain. Clueless, totally clueless. And very sad.

    https://********.com/storm-final-days-decisions-bounty/

    https://********.com/bounty-hearings-chief-mates-testifies/
  11. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    From what I read he had a good reputation and the respect of his crew, but in this situation he made one error after another starting in the yard with the work he didn't have done and the materials he used, to his choice of crew and their preparedness, to leaving New London, to not seeking safe harbor in the CHesapeak, to trying to go outside Sandy and finally trying to get inside to her weak side (of which there was none).
    The owners claim everything was left to the captain. So they'll bare no responsibility even though we all know the story of owners who operate on the cheap. The responsibility lies with the captain however.
  12. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    As to the respect of his crew, if they have no frame of reference, it's meaningless.

    The term: "the illusion of experience" is very appropriate.
  13. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    Did not see that wording in the Link.

  14. dsharp

    dsharp Senior Member

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    It's hard to imagine a situation where a captain would think that taking an aging wooden vessel into the face of a hurricane would be a logical choice. To not test all of the bilge pumps and add failing to add additional pumping capacity borders on criminal negligence. But, this is also a skipper that apparently thought Dap would be an appropriate product to use as a seam sealer. If you read the timeline it sets out one poor decision after another until ultimately, it caught up with them. It's a shame that an inexperienced crew person lost her life. A totally unnecessary loss.
  15. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    When bashing an engineer, keep in mind that regardless of experience, one only gets to work with what he's got.
    Well, and experienced professional in good demand might just be more inclined to go all-screw-you and move on when he discovers he's supposed to, as old Slavic tale goes, make a porridge from an axe. But someone will end up manning that position next to a pot.
    As pointed above, being run by "volunteers" and suspectedly having major repairs "pending" might well be indication of a situation like that. There's little point in examining your spares if you know there aint no chance under the full moon you get better ones even if those are positively useless.
  16. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    Are you trying to tell me that putting lipstick on a lady of the evening is not going to change her into Cinderella, unless she puts on the magic slippers?

    Hmmmmmm.

    Need to find those magic slippers.
  17. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    Arn't old pharts supposed to attend evenings with real Cinderellas already? :rolleyes:
  18. Old Phart

    Old Phart Senior Member

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    I dunno
    Only if the OP is not a night owl.

    She must be home before midnight! ;)
  19. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Every professional in every field has an obligation to say "No", when asked to do a half-assed job. From what I understand, the "engineer" on the Bounty was not an engineer.

    Sometimes you just get what you pay for. I'd say that with the captain dead, the heat falls on him if there is any.
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