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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related) > An Informed Opinion about the Bounty
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-13-2012 11:17 AM
PCP
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodhunter View Post
True, Paulo, but given the size and forecast path of the storm, how was he planning to get to that southeast quadrant without going through one of the the northern quadrants of the storm which are highly dangerous. In addition, winds in the southeast quadrant would be southerly pushing the Bounty away from her destination. ...
Why would an experienced captain make that decision? This is what we don't know and will never know.
..
Yes I agree. He started to go on one course that was probably consistent with what he had said than changed completely of course and tried to out run the storm???.

I think that CG should really investigate previous Bounty's Captain behaviors in what regards past hurricanes and extreme weather sailing. Did the Captain in fact proceeded some times like he described on that video? that was consistent with what he had said to his crew regarding what he wanted to do on this one.

There are a lot of statements that says that he used to do that and not from accusing sources, but from himself, his wife, Bounty's crew and Bounty's organization. There are some more clues that indicates that something was not right regarding the way he and the crew valued Bounty's seaworthiness to face extreme weather. Statements like this: "Bounty knows no boundaries" and "Bounty loves Hurricanes", not to speak of that interview, made by him or the crew raise doubts about that.

Of course if that is confirmed, I mean that this was not a first time, that creates a pattern that would help to explain why he chose to sail an Hurricane or why he said to its crew that the Bounty would be safer out there facing in the sea an hurricane than staying in Port (and off course to a good captain the lives of his crew are always the first concern).

I understand that this perspective is very inconvenient for the other Tall Ship Captains that would prefer a perspective where Bounty's Captain is "an experienced and respected captain who knew his vessel very well" that just made an inexplicable decision instead of a Tall Ship captain that sometimes took unacceptable risks with his Ship and that run out of luck.

He was one of them, I mean an experienced Tall Ship Captain and If this take on the facts was confirmed it would just raise even more public suspicion over Tall Ships and its captains.

Of course, it is possible several others explanation for an experienced and good captain (prudent has all good captains) to have deliberately taken a XVIII century designed wooden boat into an hurricane. Someone suggested a brain tumor, but I guess that there could be other explanations even if I cannot imagine them. Maybe someone can?

Regards

Paulo
12-13-2012 10:37 AM
bloodhunter
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

True, Paulo, but given the size and forecast path of the storm, how was he planning to get to that southeast quadrant without going through one of the the northern quadrants of the storm which are highly dangerous. In addition, winds in the southeast quadrant would be southerly pushing the Bounty away from her destination. According to the Facebook page the idea was to sail fast and squeeze by the storm but the Bounty was a slow ship even in the best of circumstances. (I don't see her getting over 9 kts unless you dropped her off a cliff) and by every report the storm was too big to squeeze around in any case. It all makes no sense not now and not then, before the Bounty set sail. As for getting 'a good ride', I just can't imagine anyone who has ever been in a hurricane ever saying that. It is beyond terrifying. The wind shrieks through the rigging like something trying to eat your soul. The whole boat vibrates like a guitar string. I've been there (not by choice but through an act of consumate stupidity) and I would never ever want to go through that again.
Why would an experienced captain make that decision? This is what we don't know and will never know.
I suppose it's too much to ask but I really hope that they don't make this tragedy into a made-for-tv movie
12-13-2012 10:12 AM
lancelot9898
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

How could he possibly get to the southeast quadrant of that storm considering the size of the thing and the top speed(under power) of the Bounty being somewhere around 5 knots? Wouldn't you want to be on the western wall anyway like he ended up? And could the Bounty even be sailed in those conditions with such a few number of competent crew? I'ld still like to hear from the military personnel that apparently had a sail aboard the Bounty the day before it left New London!
12-13-2012 09:42 AM
PCP
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodhunter View Post
...Can't imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to voluntarily repeat the experience. That's why I always felt that what was said in the interview was just aimed at making a good story for the press. ...
However the explanation he gave to his crew before sailing to disaster, regarding what he wanted to do regarding sailing the hurricane, were pretty consistent with what he says to that reporter (on the movie posted above) regarding having a good ride out of an hurricane:

Quote:

Walbridge told a small group that the Bounty would be leaving for St. Petersburg, Fla., that night instead of the next morning. He wanted to get a jump on a massive weather system coming from the south that forecasters were calling “historic” and that one already had dubbed “Frankenstorm.”...

Walbridge formed a circle with his thumbs and index fingers, and told listeners to look at his right thumb. It represented the southeastern section of the hurricane.

“He said he wanted to get to the southeast quadrant and ride the storm out,” said New London Dockmaster Barbara Neff.


Bounty's ill-fated trip in face of hurricane scrutinized | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

Regards

Paulo
12-13-2012 08:17 AM
bloodhunter
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
I tried to impart the insanity that follows a marine tragedy by the USCG with the story about the pontoon boat. I can't say what they will do, but I am sure that they will over-react in this case also and as this is not the kind of thing that happens often, or is really preventable by making laws or increasing training, what good will it do?
Nothing will ever prevent this sort of tragedy, unfortunately. I have been in a half dozen hurricanes (cyclones) at sea in my career, not one by choice, mind you, and in my opinion it is just plain a terrifying experience, even on a 613 foot ship! Why would I willingly do so again? Why would anyone, even once?
I have not seen the interview with the captain mentioned above, and the quoted parts seem quite a lot like bravado, which has no place in the decision making process of the captain of a vessel whose vessel and crew's lives are in his hands.
This was not about training, nor was it about laws or regulations or even regulating. It was about on the spot decision making by an experienced and respected captain who knew his vessel very well. How do you "fix" that?
I hope I've answered your questions.
Never considered the new regs that might arise from this tragedy -- very good point. Given the laws of unintended consequences many of us on this forum could be affected. Otherwide there's not much that we can really learn from this except not to go into harm's way unless you absolutely have to. And maybe that anything the can go wrong will -- but we all knew that.

Otherwise agree with everything capta has written -- in spades. I too have been through a couple of hurricane-force storms and terrifying is not the word. Can't imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to voluntarily repeat the experience. That's why I always felt that what was said in the interview was just aimed at making a good story for the press. I know what the wife and crew said but I wonder whether they really knew. I mean I'm sure the Bounty encountered storms during her voyaging and given the propensity of people to exaggerate I can see these morphing into hurricanes in the minds of those who went through them. In any case it really doesn't matter.

As for Captain Miles' letter, it never really struck me as character assassination or an attack on a dead man. More than anything it seemed a rather anguished attempt by Captain Miles to come to grips in his own mind with the question of why a man he knew well as a sane and very experienced captain decided to sail out into a megastorm. That's something none of us will ever know
12-13-2012 02:05 AM
chef2sail
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally posted by Capta
This was not about training, nor was it about laws or regulations or even regulating. It was about on the spot decision making by an experienced and respected captain who knew his vessel very well. How do you "fix" that?
I hope I've answered your questions.
Thanks I agree with everything you said

Dave
12-13-2012 12:20 AM
PCP
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
....
I have not seen the interview with the captain mentioned above, and the quoted parts seem quite a lot like bravado, which has no place in the decision making process of the captain of a vessel whose vessel and crew's lives are in his hands.
....
Here it is. At min 10.25

12-12-2012 11:53 PM
capta
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
You obviously have expertise in this by your credentials and your post therefore your opinions would be helpfull to allow us to understand
l
What effect will this have on the industry?.
What in your opinion do you think the effect will be on vessels like Bounty which are not really inspected like other ships which are highly inspected?
How can you prevent a from doing this again?
Do you have any suggestions?
I tried to impart the insanity that follows a marine tragedy by the USCG with the story about the pontoon boat. I can't say what they will do, but I am sure that they will over-react in this case also and as this is not the kind of thing that happens often, or is really preventable by making laws or increasing training, what good will it do?
Nothing will ever prevent this sort of tragedy, unfortunately. I have been in a half dozen hurricanes (cyclones) at sea in my career, not one by choice, mind you, and in my opinion it is just plain a terrifying experience, even on a 613 foot ship! Why would I willingly do so again? Why would anyone, even once?
I have not seen the interview with the captain mentioned above, and the quoted parts seem quite a lot like bravado, which has no place in the decision making process of the captain of a vessel whose vessel and crew's lives are in his hands.
This was not about training, nor was it about laws or regulations or even regulating. It was about on the spot decision making by an experienced and respected captain who knew his vessel very well. How do you "fix" that?
I hope I've answered your questions.
12-12-2012 03:09 PM
casey1999
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I guess Chief had made some good questions. That "very experienced and knowledgeable captain" had said incredible things in an interview regarding sailing a XVIII designed boat in Hurricanes. We could have dismissed that as Bull in an interview but than Bounty's crew, his wife, himself and Bounty organization had stated that the Bounty had sailed in hurricanes and that was not the first one, but just the first one where the Captain went out of luck.

This don't seem like an isolated decision (to sail near a Hurricane) but a repeated pattern that is consistent with the fact that he stated that he liked to have a good ride from an hurricane (on that interview).

The questions are:

Did the tall ship community knew that Bounty's Captain sailed the Ship in conditions that would not to be considered safe (given the type of ship) by any normal safety standard?

If so why did not the TSC done nothing, like reporting its opinion to the CG?

Could not this accident have been prevented as well as those nasty effects over the TSC if the TSC had done that?

Regards

Paulo
Maybe the TSC should start their own voluntary accreditation system. Both the ship, Capt, and crew would need accreditation. This would be completely voluntary, but ships that did not have stamp of approval would be looked down upon, that alone would force more ships to join in. Ship inspections and crew accreditation would be done completely by TSC.
12-12-2012 09:25 AM
PCP
Re: An Informed Opinion about the Bounty

Quote:
Originally Posted by capta View Post
...
This was a completely avoidable tragedy, perpetrated by a very experienced and knowledgeable captain.
You have no idea of what effect this will have on the commercial sailing industry, no matter that it was a completely avoidable tragedy totally the captain's fault.
....
There is, IMO, no place on this forum for those who have not walked (sailed) in the shoes of a truly knowledgeable person like captain Miles, for comments such as those above. He is not guessing, he knows what he is talking about. He has known the Bounty and her captain for many years. The sea is a harsh mistress and those captains who make their living on her are, in the end, responsible for their decisions. The loss of the Bounty and two of her crew was not an "act of God". It was because a very experienced and knowledgeable captain made some very bad choices.
....
I guess Chief had made some good questions. That "very experienced and knowledgeable captain" had said incredible things in an interview regarding sailing a XVIII designed boat in Hurricanes. We could have dismissed that as Bull in an interview but than Bounty's crew, his wife, himself and Bounty organization had stated that the Bounty had sailed in hurricanes and that was not the first one, but just the first one where the Captain went out of luck.

This don't seem like an isolated decision (to sail near a Hurricane) but a repeated pattern that is consistent with the fact that he stated that he liked to have a good ride from an hurricane (on that interview).

The questions are:

Did the tall ship community knew that Bounty's Captain sailed the Ship in conditions that would not to be considered safe (given the type of ship) by any normal safety standard?

If so why did not the TSC done nothing, like reporting its opinion to the CG?

Could not this accident have been prevented as well as those nasty effects over the TSC if the TSC had done that?

Regards

Paulo
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