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post #330 of Old 11-05-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

About the sea conditions:

"It's one of the biggest seas I've ever been in. It was huge out there," said coastguard rescue swimmer Randy Haba, who helped pluck four crew members off one of the canopied life rafts and a fifth who was in the water.

HMS Bounty crew member dies and captain missing in stormy seas | World news |

About the possible reasons of generator failure, consequent impossibility to run the pumps and consequent engine failure:

Hansen said Walbridge was attempting to head east, away from the hurricane, when the ship began taking on water.

"At that time it wasn't considered an emergency, even though they had several feet of water inside the boat," Hansen said.

"She's a very large ship, and that little bit of water really does not do anything to her. But somehow we lost power in our generator and in our main engines, and as a result, we could not pump any water out of the boat."
As the waves continued to batter the ship, "it just got to the point where she couldn't stay afloat anymore."

Sandy claims 'Bounty' off North Carolina -

From the gCaptain Forum, posted by a professional sailor (1600 Master)

I was sailing on board the tall ship Bounty as a guest in May and was not tasked with pumping the bilges. My photos of the engine room exist simply because I'd never seen an engine room with wooden bulkheads, or a wooden bilge. The engine room was cramped, the main engines were (Caterpillar?), and generator (yellow...Caterpillar?) were in custom made sound-proofed boxes. In the photos you can see the battery powered fire alarm, and typical electrical outlet mounted low on the FWD bulkhead.

The pumps...If I remember correctly, the main bilge pump was in the engine room, and was mounted low on the FWD bulkhead and was electric.

With just a small amount of water sloshing around the engine room everything on board would have shorted out.

You can see in my photos just how shallow the bilge is in the engine room.

... There were no other “emergency” pumps located higher than those in the engine room that I remember, and I do not believe she was required to maintain any other emergency pumps.

I do not believe she was required to have a licensed engineer/QMED or oiler on board.

Below the weather deck she was basically open bow to stern. The next level below had many different transverse wooden bulkheads built for structural integrity but not watertight integrity. If there was 2’ of water in one area, say in the lower crew berthing area, then there would be 2’ of water in the engine room based only one the curvature of the hull, and slope of the keel.

The bulkheads on the Bounty were not intended to isolate areas from free-flow water movement; they were not required to do so by the ABS or the USCG.

There was one watertight door installed to appease a disgusted marine inspector years ago. It separated the lower FWD sleeping area from the bosun stores area. There were also numerous non-watertight doors between decks.

As an old, wooden, movie prop, she leaked constantly and each watch was tasked to monitor the bilge water level and pump her out as needed.

Underway, in rough seas she would have been leaking like mad and would have been totally dependent on her electric pumps…which were easy to short out due to their location.


From another professional as a reply:

A licensed engineer worth his or her salt would have walked off the gangway after one look around.

Thanks for this, and thanks to everyone else who posted up. While I have an interest in the history of sail, and how our predecessors lived and worked, I never really paid much attention to contemporary replica tall ships, because it never occurred to me that someone would be so foolhardy as to take one out in a storm of Sandy's magnitude. I always thought of them as tourist attractions and museum pieces that were only sailed in fair weather. Silly, silly me. I've gotten a real education from this thread.


Last edited by PCP; 11-05-2012 at 06:27 PM.
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