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  #261  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
As I have quietly followed this thread, careful not to pass judgement (and realizing I lack the experience to do so), I keep wondering whether the nature of the failure might have led to a similarly fatal result in less severe conditions. It is possible that the storm had little or nothing to do with the root cause of the accident.

It seems that not enough facts have been disclosed to determine this. So many people have repeated the speculation that the boat lost a plank under the stresses induced by the storm that it's easy to mislead oneself in believing that actually happened. So far as I can tell, that is PURE speculation and there has been NOTHING to support that.

So while it's interesting to speculate, we do need to be very careful not to "pile on" based on that speculation.-Takefive

Yea....a voice of reason and wisdom

Rick all the amateur sleuths here know that couldnt be the case..... thats why they have decided already that it was the captain to blame. We dont need any facts

Here is their straight line reasonsing.


Captain wanted to chase a hurricane. Captain left knowing he was headed at a storm. Captain took a route to keep himself away from the strongest winds, though pinning himself against the GS and a notorius trecherous area. Ship sent a distress call that it was taking water...ship sent a distress call it was abondoning ship.

From this the sleuths have deduced that the storm caused the sinking because the captain wanted to sail into it and should be held responsible.

Lets see....lets use that similar airplane analogy again.

Airplane takes off during a rainstorm. Captain seen the week before before having a drink with dinner. Captain feels pressure to leave on time by his company and is cleared. Captain takes a route perscribed by control and flies upward throgh a growing t storm. Captain gets past a lot of the major wind, but comes upon a mountain chain notorius for increased turbulence because they are. Captain sends a Mayday call and plane disappears off radar. Plane crashes

1 hour after the crash is reported Sailnet pundits begin to analyze what they know and come up with the conlcusion the captain is responsible because ultimately the airplane captain is in charge of his plane, should have refused to leave, should have found an alternative route and he probably had a alcohol probelm which contributed. Gilty as charged and the ruining of his reputation can now begin. Sailnet pundits only see weather and the captain as pertinent information. Salinet pundits speculate about training of captain, Maybe a wing fell off, age of airliner fleet, maybe there was a bomb, maybe it was terrorists.

6 months later NTSB issues report saying there was wearing of the electrical wires and spark of electrical wires in one of the fuel tanks which occured because of a flawed design or improper insulation during a routine maintainence overhaul. While wires were covered by fuel...no problem...once the tanks became somewhat empty the wires sparked and caused an explosion which downed the plane. Captain died along with passangers. Weather played minimal or no imnpact in crash which would have eventually occured away, Captains reputation ruined forever.


All I am saying not enough of the important facts in evidence to draw conclusions or pass judgements yet
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Last edited by chef2sail; 11-04-2012 at 03:37 AM.
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  #262  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Chef, I get your point, but chill out with the pilot analogy. Whenever there is a crash, there is mass hysteria far beyond anything you've seen here. If you've ever read an NTSB report, they are almost always determined to be the fault of the pilot in command.

In fact, if you launched a flight into analogous conditions, your licensed would suspended. All flight weather briefings are recorded and if you made similar public statements, the FAA has less patience than anyone on the thread.
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  #263  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Now lets assume Bounty had pure mechanical failure. That would not exonerate a pilot that became exposed for having made an unsafe and unnecessary flight plan.
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  #264  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

The concept you are discussing is known in the law as "proximate cause" - whether there is a legally recognized causal connection between the breach of a duty and the damages caused.

What you fail to realize is that the captain is responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of his inexcusable decision to set sail toward the likely path of a hurricane.

There exists the unlikely possibility that some superseding, intervening cause resulted in the death of this young woman. For instance, if she died from food poisoning on board and just happened to stumble overboard just as the ship was sinking, or if the Navy accidentally bombed the ship as part of aerial bombing practice, then the captain's asinine decision to take to sea may not have been the proximate cause of her death. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever supporting a superseding, intervening cause of death.

On the other hand, if she died because the ship lost a plank or the bilge pumps failed or the engine failed or she was hit by a loose life raft on deck, those would all be events that inexorably follow from the failure of the captain to exercise prudence in his decision-making. It is reasonably foreseeable, in fact likely, that mechanical failure during a storm on that ship would result in a sinking an a loss of life, even though such mechanical failure in calm conditions would cause no permanent harm. It is reasonably foreseeable that a ship like the Bounty might founder and capsize in gale or hurricane conditions, so the captain who put the ship in that position will be held responsible for all consequences not due to a superseding cause.

People are responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their failure to live up to their duties as reasonably prudent people, in this case, a reasonably prudent professional captain. A reasonably prudent professional captain of a ship like the Bounty does not set sail in the face of an impending, unpredictable hurricane. The estate of "Captain Hurricane Chaser/"There is no such thing as bad weather" and everyone responsible for employing someone with knowledge of his apparent lack of judgment will now be responsible for all reasonably foreseeable consequences of his negligence, including the death of this woman. That seems perfectly fair and just to me.

Some of you apparently do not embrace that concept. Some on this listserv refuse to accept the responsibilities of a ship's captain. Your passengers and crew do not assume the risk of your faulty decision-making just because taking to sea is risky venture. When you assume responsibility for other's lives by commanding a boat, you are required to be PRUDENT - which means wise, judicious, careful, cautious and discreet. You have no legal right to gamble, play the odds, and take risks with other's lives at stake. If you do not like that legal liability, then sail solo and do not summon rescue forces

There is no rush to judgment. No further investigation will ever portray this captain as wise, careful or cautious, given what we already know about his decision-making in the circumstances. We are not required to search for a superceding cause to exonerate him. This is very simple: he put the boat in harm's way and harm resulted.
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  #265  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Hi all,

I've been following this thread here and other sites on this subject for a bit now. I'm new to the forum and fairly new to sailing as well. I will not pass judgement on what happened aboard the Bounty but as a 747 captain (an airplane of that size is in many ways, a flying ship), I, however, will say a few things since I do find a similarity as far as responsibilities go between both airliner and ship's Captains.

First of all, as a Pilot in Command, you are responsible for everything that goes on, into and about that aircraft that you are about to fly. It is your job to check the aircraft logbook that all maintenance has been properly carried out according to the prescribed guidelines

Same goes for the weather along the route, destination and alternates. The physical well being of your crew and passengers, physically and mentally. The cargo if there are hazmat or other DGs on board.

Actually, the Flight dispatch will send you all the info in a nice thick packet half the size of a phone book for every flight. They will brief you as well but if they screwed up, it is still your airplane. You are responsible for everything and I mean everything.

What I'm saying is that, as a Pilot in Command, you make the final decision, period. No one can force you to leave if you do not feel that either you, your crew or the aircraft is capable and can safely complete the trip. Not your Company, Chief Pilot, Union etc.

And not to take anything away from anyone, but I cannot just take a FAA test, buy an airplane and a nice white hat and be a Captain. The main difference here is that we, as far as professional pilot group goes, have to go through all kinds of emergency training scenarios and drills every six months. We must attend recurrent training annually (I believe freighters, tankers and cruise ship crew go through similar training). They pay us good money not to fly the airplane, the airplane can do all that by themselves. Heck, my 747-400 and land and come to a complete stop on the runway without me ever touching the yoke or the throttles. What they really pay us for is to make safe and sound judgements and prudent decisions.

As a pilot in command, the decisions are all yours and yours alone. Whatever decision you make, good or bad, you'd better be able to defend it if you ever ended up at that long inquisition table with no ashtrays, if you survive the incident or accident that is.
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  #266  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post

What you fail to realize is that the captain is responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of his inexcusable decision to set sail toward the likely path of a hurricane.

...

People are responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their failure to live up to their duties as reasonably prudent people, in this case, a reasonably prudent professional captain. A reasonably prudent professional captain of a ship like the Bounty does not set sail in the face of an impending, unpredictable hurricane. The estate of "Captain Hurricane Chaser/"There is no such thing as bad weather" and everyone responsible for employing someone with knowledge of his apparent lack of judgment will now be responsible for all reasonably foreseeable consequences of his negligence, including the death of this woman. That seems perfectly fair and just to me.

Some of you apparently do not embrace that concept. Some on this listserv refuse to accept the responsibilities of a ship's captain. Your passengers and crew do not assume the risk of your faulty decision-making just because taking to sea is risky venture. When you assume responsibility for other's lives by commanding a boat, you are required to be PRUDENT - which means wise, judicious, careful, cautious and discreet. You have no legal right to gamble, play the odds, and take risks with other's lives at stake. If you do not like that legal liability, then sail solo and do not summon rescue forces

There is no rush to judgment. No further investigation will ever portray this captain as wise, careful or cautious, given what we already know about his decision-making in the circumstances. We are not required to search for a superceding cause to exonerate him. This is very simple: he put the boat in harm's way and harm resulted.
Exactly, very well said... Bottom line, the BOUNTY should not have been where she was, period... To suggest that "the storm had little or nothing to do with the root cause of the accident" is nonsensical. All other mitigating factors are reduced to the peripheral, after that decision to depart New London Thursday, and laying a course directly into the path of the storm, was taken...

I would invite once again suggestions from those who fail to grasp that, who ELSE besides the captain might bear responsibility for this tragedy? And, what possible reason might have compelled him to sail into the teeth of such weather in such a vessel to meet the schedule of being in St Pete by Nov 9?

Seems to me, we are left only with scenarios as bizarre and fantastical as his being forced at gunpoint to depart New London, or being convinced that innocent schoolchildren in St Pete would begin being beheaded hourly if the BOUNTY was not there on schedule... One has to grant that such compelling, mitigating circumstances MIGHT have been at play - but I'd suggest such a case was not bloody likely...

The guy simply made a really, REALLY bad decision... Certainly, there may have been factors that influenced that decision, but I'm still hard-pressed to imagine any that even remotely begin to EXCUSE such a decision by a professional mariner...
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  #267  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
For instance, if she died from food poisoning on board and just happened to stumble overboard just as the ship was sinking, or if the Navy accidentally bombed the ship as part of aerial bombing practice,...
Here's a great example as far as Captain responsibilities go. If she died from food poisoning, did the Captain immediately contact the CG or the authorities, quarantine the food, treat other sick crew members and make for shore?

If she fell overboard when the ship is sinking, did he make sure or delegate his subordinates to ensure that everyone has their PFD on and are aware that they are about to abandon ship.

If the Navy destroy the boat during bombing run practice, did the Captain get all the pertinent information he needs in regards to his sailing route before he proceeds out to sea? As pilots, we get what is call NOTAMS (Notice to Airmans) so that we don't stumble into the Military Operating Areas or Restricted areas. Airplanes have been shot down for such excursions.

As I said earlier, no matter what, all the final decisions and responsibilities rest on the Captain and the Captain alone.
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  #268  
Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
The concept you are discussing is known in the law as "proximate cause" - whether there is a legally recognized causal connection between the breach of a duty and the damages caused.

What you fail to realize is that the captain is responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of his inexcusable decision to set sail toward the likely path of a hurricane.

....
On the other hand, if she died because the ship lost a plank or the bilge pumps failed or the engine failed or she was hit by a loose life raft on deck, those would all be events that inexorably follow from the failure of the captain to exercise prudence in his decision-making. It is reasonably foreseeable, in fact likely, that mechanical failure during a storm on that ship would result in a sinking an a loss of life, even though such mechanical failure in calm conditions would cause no permanent harm. It is reasonably foreseeable that a ship like the Bounty might founder and capsize in gale or hurricane conditions, so the captain who put the ship in that position will be held responsible for all consequences not due to a superseding cause.

People are responsible for the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their failure to live up to their duties as reasonably prudent people, in this case, a reasonably prudent professional captain. A reasonably prudent professional captain of a ship like the Bounty does not set sail in the face of an impending, unpredictable hurricane. The estate of "Captain Hurricane Chaser/"There is no such thing as bad weather" and everyone responsible for employing someone with knowledge of his apparent lack of judgment will now be responsible for all reasonably foreseeable consequences of his negligence, including the death of this woman. That seems perfectly fair and just to me.

Some of you apparently do not embrace that concept. Some on this listserv refuse to accept the responsibilities of a ship's captain. Your passengers and crew do not assume the risk of your faulty decision-making just because taking to sea is risky venture. When you assume responsibility for other's lives by commanding a boat, you are required to be PRUDENT - which means wise, judicious, careful, cautious and discreet. You have no legal right to gamble, play the odds, and take risks with other's lives at stake. If you do not like that legal liability, then sail solo and do not summon rescue forces

There is no rush to judgment. No further investigation will ever portray this captain as wise, careful or cautious, given what we already know about his decision-making in the circumstances. We are not required to search for a superceding cause to exonerate him. This is very simple: he put the boat in harm's way and harm resulted.
Regarding this I will point out a relevant fact that was discussed as unacceptable on a professional forum:

The Captain sailed away in a boat that he knew it was making water (a pump had to be put at work each hour) and that had one of the two genset that provided energy to the pumps was out of service. On that forum for professional sailors they say that even if he had the two generators working he should have a different safeguard system (as we have in our boats), a manual system or giving the ship dimension, diesel running emergency pumps.

The fact that he went to sea with a damaged pump system (one Genset out of service) and without a back up system is just unacceptable for them, hurricane or not.

We don't know the part bad weather took on the sinking of the ship, but we know that the direct cause was that the boat has making water and that the only remaining genset stopped to work making impossible for them to take the water out of the boat and eventually do a makeshift repair on the hull (if possible). Even with fair weather that boat could sink if the only remaining genset went out of service, as it did.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 11-04-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Surely there can be reasons as to why he left port and sailed into a hurricane other than just going on some reckless, adrenaline-junkie mission. Could he have been asked to leave New London by harbor officials and turned down in New Bedford and everywhere else? You just don't pull into a harbor with a 190' ship and expect to find hurricane-proof dock space. Did the ship have adequate ground tackle to even attempt an anchorage up inside Narragansett? I doubt anyone had a mooring adequate to handle him. Could he have been pressured by the ship's owners at the risk of his job? No one knows and we may never know. What would any of us do if we were faced with no good place to use for a hurricane hole? Would we maybe try to put out to sea as a last resort? Let's hear the facts first before we hang this guy in effigy.

The fact is that he did put out to sea. That was his very bad decision. "Unfathomable" is Jon's appropriate adjective for this decision. He could have, instead, run her aground as a last resort rather than risk the crew. I just wonder why anyone with his experience would risk sailing into a hurricane in this apparently less than fully sound ship.
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Old 11-04-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
...I just wonder why anyone with his experience would risk sailing into a hurricane in this apparently less than fully sound ship.
Just a reminder that this ship is deemed less than fully sound only because of all the "facts" that we have "invented" on this board. Nobody that I know of here inspected her just prior to departure. This is the danger or our speculation - we echo what each other says enough times that we start to believe each other's speculation as fact.
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