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post #1847 of Old 02-23-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Day 7 hearing from gCaptain just released.

Here is the short quote from gCaptain. He summarized well.

Svendsen and Walbridge appeared to do all of the hiring of crew for the HMS Bounty Organization. Walbridge had decades at sea. Svendsen had worked tall ships prior to Bounty. The rest of the crew- so far it seems – had an experience base of one:

The third mate, Dan Cleveland (25), came aboard from a career in landscaping. Bounty was his first wooden tall ship.

The Bosun, Laura Groves (28), had experience on smaller boats in the Keys. Bounty was her first wooden tall ship.

Joshua Scornavacchi (25), was on his first wooden tall ship.

Second mate Matt Sanders (37) had worked on a series of ships, including the schooner Margaret Todd, but Bounty was (wait for it) his first wooden tall ship.

Testifying Wednesday morning was Anna Sprague (20); of course it was her first wooden tall ship.

Claudene Christian (42) , was on her first wooden tall ship.

When the new cook, Jessica Black (34), put on her immersion suit to abandon ship on the 29th of October, she had been aboard Bounty – her first wooden tall ship – for a grand total of 45 hours.

Walbridge and Svendsen had hired a crew – including several ships officers – who wouldn’t know any better. When they were told that “a ship is safer at sea,” and that “all wood boats leak*,” they had to believe it. They had learned everything they knew about their jobs from their captain and from each other. They were “professionally deficient” and didn’t even know it.

(* – All wood boats may leak a little, but all wood boats do not require constant bilge pumping.)

Walbridge often addressed his crew as “Future captains of America.” They all speak of Bounty as a great place to learn and as a school where they would learn from the master, Robin Walbridge.

They were “honored to work for him.” But there has been a theme in the testimony that ”getting better” on Bounty was a substitute for good enough to begin with. The organization didn’t seem to care how little you knew about your job – so long as you were willing to get better, everything was just fine. The sea doesn’t see it that way.

Svendsen questioned Anna Sprague, the youngest Bounty survivor:

Svendsen: “Were you trained well on Bounty?”

Sprague: “Oh yes.”

She was twenty years old and on the first boat she had ever known working for the only mariners she had ever worked for. Honestly, how on earth would she know how well she was trained?

I hope these young men and women have learned their lesson how foolish and naive they were, and almost paid with their life.

Like I said that before. When you are in love (with Bounty and the Captain), You don't see the obvious. You tend to shunt away all the warning signs including those given by your parents and friends who love you dearly.

I spent most of the days listening to the hearing. Although I still have many questions, I am satisfied and able to find closure in this tragedy.

If I were the Captain and knowing that I had caused the sinking the Bounty, will I be man enough to face the court from the lawsuit and hell the I would have brought into my family? It would be an easy way out if I perish with Bounty. The family will move to a new chapter with the life insurance pay out.

I would imagine that the Captain had plenty time to think about his options.


Fine Print:
I am old school. Integrity is to do the right thing even when no one is watching.
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