Originally Posted by smurphny
Anything is possible as far as why she was leaking. There is all sorts of stuff in the water that can stove in a plank. I've seen it happen more than once. A "deadhead" piling (and there are PLENTY of them) can sink you in a heartbeat. In a boat that large, finding a major leak could be next to impossible for a small, green crew. ....
Given that (a) the aerial pic of Bounty half-submerged appears to show at least the main topmast snapped off and (b) the "abandon ship" call apparently happened in the dark.. maybe the topmast went overside and punched a hole in the hull before it could be cut away in time??...
Sheer speculation on my part, but I've read that exactly that scenario caused the loss of many ships during the 18th and 19th centuries. In the wrong place, in the dark and in heavy seas, a hole that large could overwhelm the pumps and kill engine electrics before the crew could do anything about it.
EDIT: They probably hauled the topmasts down before leaving port, so ignore the above.
It seems that without engines charging batteries, the batteries can't keep the pumps going to pump out water coming in through the seams. It's a common problem... I guess "man the pumps!" is a little too old-fasioned for a modern ship like this.