Pretty much sums it up:
"Here is what Matt Sanders, Bounty’s second mate, testified to Commander Carroll of the Coast Guard concerning the bilge pumps today.
Carroll: “The hydraulic pumps – when did you first use them?”
Sanders: “On the 28th” [October 28th - the day prior to sinking]
Carroll: “Was it used any other time before that in the season?”
Sanders: “Not that I know of.”
Carroll: “Were the crew taught how to use the hydraulic pumps?”
Sanders: “No, I don’t think so.”
Carroll: “Were they trained on the gasoline-powered pump?”
Sanders: “No, they weren’t.”
When asked why the portable gasoline pump was not routinely tested, maintained, and trained on, the answers ranged from absurd to worse. No one aboard seemed to have any idea that if you left gasoline in a can for 18 months, it would be a bad thing.
Faunt: “I’d seen it work once when we bought it and put it away and left it alone on Robin’s orders.”
Faunt: “Because it wasn’t particularly good and we didn’t want to wear it out by using it. And it was gasoline and we were worried about fire!”
NTSB Investigator Captain Rob Jones pressed Faunt to explain why they wouldn’t want to practice with the ship’s portable emergency bilge pump and use it periodically to ensure that it was in working order. Faunt’s incredulous response, “But the pump was gasoline, why would we risk using it if we didn’t have to?” When he was asked why the hydraulic pumps weren’t ever used, he replied, “There was concern about wear, so they were held in reserve.”
On October 25th, Bounty was preparing to sail into the Atlantic and dodge a hurricane. Three of the five pumps had not been tested or trained in anyone’s memory. The ship’s diesel engines and generators had no maintenance records and their status was unknown. And on the way to New London from the shipyard, the 66 year-old Faunt, a five-season veteran aboard Bounty, noticed that even the electric bilge pumps weren’t working as well as they had been. He had been running those pumps for years and knew how they operated. He brought his concerns to Robin Walbridge.
Faunt: “Robin thought it might have to do with the impellers.”
Carroll: ”Did he ever check them?”
Faunt: ”Not that I know of.”
Less than four days later, Bounty was sinking. The bilge pumps couldn’t keep up with the water, one generator was gone and the other was about to go. Walbridge and Faunt – the ship’s default electrician and GMDSS Operator – were attempting distress calls on the HF Radio and the INMARSAT C. They couldn’t get them to work.
Carroll: ”Did you test them before you left New London?”
Faunt: ”No, we didn’t.”"
Sins of Omission – Bounty Hearings – Day 5 | gCaptain - Maritime & Offshore News