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  #1861  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Interesting stuff at GCaptain by Mario Vittone

"At the start of each day of the hearings, Commander Kevin Carroll does the same thing: he reads a statement. He tells all in attendance, “The purpose of the investigation is to determine the cause of the casualty and the responsibility therefore to the fullest extent possible; and to obtain information for the purpose of preventing or reducing the effects of similar casualties in the future.” A worthy purpose, to be sure. ... But then he says something that some may have missed:

“This investigation is also intended to determine whether there is any evidence of any incompetence, misconduct, or willful violation of the law on the part of any licensed officer, pilot, seaman, employee, owner, or agent of the owner of any vessel involved…”

The hearings are also intended to look for evidence of negligence or incompetence.

“Evidence of any incompetence” of a licensed captain would not come by asking questions of the crew that worked beneath him. They had never been in his position, they didn’t know what he knew or what he should have known. They simply believed and admired the man and trusted his decisions. To determine whether or not the trip itself was evidence of incompetence or negligence, Carroll had to find similarly credentialed and experienced captains to testify. He needed to ask them to put themselves in Walbridge’s place, and say what they would have done. He needed to speak with the best....

On the phone was Captain Daniel Moreland, arguably the most respected captain in the traditional sailing ship community. Moreland was calling in to testify from Tahiti. His ship, the Picton Castle, is on a six month voyage in the South Pacific. Moreland has taken the barque around the world five times since he’s been captain. His personal sailing experience started in the 1970′s. He is without question one of the most competent sailing ship masters in the world. When Carroll asked what his thoughts were when he found out Bounty was at sea from New London, Moreland’s response was no surprise:

Moreland: “I couldn’t believe it. I still don’t.”

At the time Sandy was tracking up the Atlantic, the Picton Castle was scheduled to leave home port for the world cruise she was now on. Moreland had cancelled because of the storm days before Bounty had left New London. He went on to discuss the much safer options available to Walbridge if he thought New London was unsafe due to storm surge. “New Bedford – up above the bridge,” Moreland offered. New Bedford, 100 miles to the north of New London, has a “hurricane barrier” specifically designed as a hiding place for ships that need to avoid storm surge.

When asked by Carroll if he believed that a ship is “safer at sea,” Moreland discussed the difference between a Navy vessel that had the ability to move at 22 knots and be 400 miles from the storm, and a slow-moving historic sailing vessel. “…and the Navy is paid to take that risk so that they can respond if needed for war…but between the ship and crew, you always have to go with what is safer for the crew.”

Moreland made it clear to investigators that he would not have made the same choice as Walbridge if put in that situation. In fact, he was in the same situation and hadn’t. The primary difference between Walbridge’s choice to leave and Moreland’s to stay, was that Picton Castle was larger, made of steel, rigorously inspected, and prepared for a global voyage. If Moreland wasn’t thinking about leaving port in late October – what was Walbridge thinking? Only the HMS Bounty Organization’s attorney had the nerve to ask:

Moreland: “I can’t imagine what he was thinking.”

There were no further questions from the Bounty Organization.

Ralph Mellusi, the attorney for the estate of Claudene Christian, wanted more specific testimony:

Mellusi: “What if the bilge system of your ship wasn’t in perfect working order and in fact your crew had told you they were concerned that it wasn’t working properly; would you have taken the ship to sea in those conditions?”

Moreland: “That would be unconscionable on a good day.”

Investigators interviewed two more captains of tall ships, including the captain of the Pride of Baltimore II , Jan Miles. Captain Miles, also a well-respected captain and a friend of Robin Walbridge, was so dismayed by his decision to sail into Sandy’s path that he wrote an open letter to Walbridge calling his decision to sail “reckless in the extreme.” He too told Carroll he wouldn’t have sailed, and that a ship wasn’t safer at sea, adding “I don’t know what would have caused her [Bounty] to go.” His responses to Mellusi’s questions were chilling. Mellusi simply read the most damning passages from Miles’ letter and asked the wooden tall ship captain, “Do you still stand by that statement.” Without hesitation, Captain Miles answered with only one firm word, “Yes.”

The masters had given no quarter to the deceased Walbridge. Leaving New London on October 25th and sailing toward hurricane Sandy was – in itself – negligent. No competent sailing captain would have done it.

But Robin Walbridge had competently sailed Bounty for seventeen years. Why, indeed, would he do something that no other captain would have done? The investigation continues; Commander Carroll has a massive job still ahead of him.

But perhaps Robin Walbridge was suffering from the same thing his crew was – a lack of the right kind of experience. He had faced down storms before and won, he had tangled with hurricanes and made it home, his experience was that if he headed into harm’s way, he would get away with it.

He had clearly confused the lack of failure with success, and may have begun to truly believe his own advice. Maybe it was something else, I don’t know. Robin Walbridge, the last captain of Bounty, isn’t here to ask".



Well, nothing that it was not said in this thread long ago, but interesting stuff even so.

....
All supporting Take Fives point about having great hindsight. 20/20 vison on events occuring.

At the time they had their " Oh my god moments and since one proclaimed to even be his "friend" ( Jan Miles) and they didnt even pick up the phone/ VHF/ e mail/SSB to warn or even question their friend. Nope they didnt think to do that at all.

They are just worried about how this affects them and had no other conecrn in this matter than that. Thats OK too. But these guys saints till they F Up too.

Imagine a public letter of indignation and ridicule addressed to a dead man. That indisputably was all for public show. I hope some day since I live in Baltimore to see him as the Pride of Baltimore is often docked at Inner Harbor and there are functions. I will say that to his face. I have already written and sent a letter to him about his public self serving display to bring attention to himself.

Nopne of this exonerates Walbridge in any way.
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  #1862  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Imagine a public letter of indignation and ridicule addressed to a dead man. That indisputably was all for public show. I hope some day since I live in Baltimore to see him as the Pride of Baltimore is often docked at Inner Harbor and there are functions. I will say that to his face. I have already written and sent a letter to him about his public self serving display to bring attention to himself.
He may have sent the letter to be self serving, I don't know him. It certainly doesn't seem like an appropriate thing to do.
Different people respond to grief differently however. For example it is a very common emotion to have anger even rage for a loved one who has died. It's not logical but understandable. We feel frustrated, hurt angered by a loss especially if it was the result of an accident that in hind site could have been avoided. We often start doing what if's. What if we had called, what if we had picked up the milk ourself, what if we had insisted they go to the doctor. Of course then we feel guilty for being angry at the person who died.
If this person was a good friend of Robin's it is possible that the letter was the result of grief and maybe even some pangs of conscience that he didn't do anything to stop Robin himself.
In any event he may even regret sending the letter but we all can do things we wish we didn't do in the grip of emotion.
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  #1863  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
......
Imagine a public letter of indignation and ridicule addressed to a dead man. That indisputably was all for public show. I hope some day since I live in Baltimore to see him as the Pride of Baltimore is often docked at Inner Harbor and there are functions. I will say that to his face. I have already written and sent a letter to him about his public self serving display to bring attention to himself.
Like I said already:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartley18 View Post
I feel sorry for those captains being dragged into this.
It's a no-win situation that certainly isn't going to help their business prospects other than to attract visitors interested, not in their ship and the sailing experience, but only in asking personal questions about a old collegue of theirs whose ship sank in a storm...
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Last edited by Classic30; 02-24-2013 at 09:12 PM.
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  #1864  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
All supporting Take Fives point about having great hindsight. 20/20 vison on events occuring.

..
Dave, the Picton Castle Captain manifested his disbelief for Bounty's Captain has soon as he knew he had sailed out of port and way before the boat sunk.

He showed disagreement but that does not mean he does not respect Wallbridge autonomy as Captain. It was not his right to tell him what to do even if he knew that he was sailing an Hurricane. Anyway Wallbrige didn't look for advise near any other tall ship Captains regarding his option and when they took knowledge was to late to even for them to try to change his mind.

Regarding the 20/20 insight, he may even have survived with his ship but taking an old XVIII century designed wooden boat in bad shape with an inexperienced crew to really extreme weather was by all counts gambling with the crew lives and regarding that I guess that we could even have a 100/100 certainty, no insight here.

Gambling with the lives of the crew, or in his own words "taking calculated risks" is a wrong thing, a thing a Captain has no right to do. If he had got away with it one more time, it would not make it less wrong.

We heard repeatedly people from the Tall ship community saying that the talk was that the Bounty was in bad shape and that had an inexperienced crew. I guess that other Tall ship Captains would have a better knowledge about that than sailors.

As I have said before, I didn't like that open letter to a dead man even if I agree with the general content, but not with the form. It is even more chocking to me because he claims he was a wallbridge's friend. I dispense that kind of friends

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 02-24-2013 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

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Originally Posted by PCP View Post
...It was not his right to tell him what to do even if he knew that he was sailing an Hurricane...
I disagree 100%. In this country, he would absolutely have the right to tell him whatever he wants. We do have something called the First Amendment here, and this falls well within that right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
...We heard repeatedly people from the Tall ship community saying that the talk was that the Bounty was in bad shape...
If there really was such talk in advance of this accident, and there was no resulting action (such as strong negative peer pressure) among the tall ship community, then there is a case to be made that there is a poor safety culture that pervades the entire tall ship community. It could be argued that they deserve any negative consequences (increased regulations, etc.) that come out of this investigation.

If on the other hand there was such strong peer pressure, and the Bounty leadership refused to listen, then the tall ship community may have done all they could. But where is the evidence that this peer pressure took place? I have not heard about in any of the testimony.
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  #1866  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Dave, the Picton Castle Captain manifested his disbelief for Bounty's Captain has soon as he knew he had sailed out of port and way before the boat sunk.

He showed disagreement but that does not mean he does not respect Wallbridge autonomy as Captain. It was not his right to tell him what to do even if he knew that he was sailing an Hurricane. Anyway Wallbrige didn't look for advise near any other tall ship Captains regarding his option and when they took knowledge was to late to even for them to try to change his mind.

Regarding the 20/20 insight, he may even have survived with his ship but taking an old XVIII century designed wooden boat in bad shape with an inexperienced crew to really extreme weather was by all counts gambling with the crew lives and regarding that I guess that we could even have a 100/100 certainty, no insight here.

Gambling with the lives of the crew, or in his own words "taking calculated risks" is a wrong thing, a thing a Captain has no right to do. If he had got away with it one more time, it would not make it less wrong.

We heard repeatedly people from the Tall ship community saying that the talk was that the Bounty was in bad shape and that had an inexperienced crew. I guess that other Tall ship Captains would have a better knowledge about that than sailors.

As I have said before, I didn't like that open letter to a dead man even if I agree with the general content, but not with the form. It is even more chocking to me because he claims he was a wallbridge's friend. I dispense that kind of friends

Regards

Paulo
I understand how you feel about the letter to the dead captain by Jan Miles and it is the same as mine. And again the issue we are not talking about is whether Walbridge was right or wrong or irrespsonsible that has been determined. Its the Johnny come lately attiitude of the Tall Ship Captains.

So heres the question. Paulo, You have kept you boat in marina/ city for 8 years. You race every Wednesday night, go out and eat with the Salboat captains and get to know them fairly well. You go to marinia, club meetings regularly together and get to see each other quite a bit over the 8 years. Your crews intermingle and know each other too. You spend a lot of time together and one or two become even closer friends who you socialize with a lot. He owns the oldest boat in ther marina, has a rookie crew every year, fixes things with bailing wire and rope because he doesnt have the money to keep his boat up like you do. Everytimne you race he breaks down or breaks something, but he patches it up and makes every race. You have his e mail address and cell phone.

You know he is planning a trip to England. In your mind you are suspect he will not break down along the way even in the best of weather as that has meen his MO, and you arent sure when hes leaving. A huge storm developes over 1000 miles away in England and looks but looks like it might travel to Portugal and brush your marina so you decide to make sure you boat is tied up well, While doing this you find out he has left for England that very night. You are afraid for his life , his crew, and his ship surviving this storm

What would you do?
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  #1867  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
....
If there really was such talk in advance of this accident, and there was no resulting action (such as strong negative peer pressure) among the tall ship community, then there is a case to be made that there is a poor safety culture that pervades the entire tall ship community. It could be argued that they deserve any negative consequences (increased regulations, etc.) that come out of this investigation.

If on the other hand there was such strong peer pressure, and the Bounty leadership refused to listen, then the tall ship community may have done all they could. But where is the evidence that this peer pressure took place? I have not heard about in any of the testimony.
I agree with that but not specifically in what regards the Tall Ship community. Comparing with Europe and in what regards private yachts America has a poor safety culture, I mean one that is mandatory, enforced and inspected. For what was said in this thread by members of the TSC that poor safety culture is not generalized and it seems that ships and boats like the Bounty are more a exception than a rule.

It is not to the Tall Ship Community that has the power to make the rules regarding safety and mandatory inspections but the Coast Guard. Yes I consider that the Coast Guard is also to blame in all this affair.

Allowing a ship like the Bounty to be classified as a simple Yacht and that way escape mandatory serious inspections and safety requirements is entirely on the Coats Guard. They did not need this accident to have made a recommendation for an alteration of the law. It was obvious that it was unsafe to allow big Tall ships to be considered as yachts.

A sensible regulation in what regards Tall ships should already exist and if it is a sensible, well made one it will be also in the interest of the Tall Ship Community. It can prevent more accidents like the one on the Bounty and contribute to a more generalized safety culture.

Regards

Paulo
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
...

So heres the question. Paulo, You have kept you boat in marina/ city for 8 years. You race every Wednesday night, go out and eat with the Salboat captains and get to know them fairly well. You go to marinia, club meetings regularly together and get to see each other quite a bit over the 8 years. Your crews intermingle and know each other too. You spend a lot of time together and one or two become even closer friends who you socialize with a lot. He owns the oldest boat in ther marina, has a rookie crew every year, fixes things with bailing wire and rope because he doesnt have the money to keep his boat up like you do. Everytimne you race he breaks down or breaks something, but he patches it up and makes every race. You have his e mail address and cell phone.

You know he is planning a trip to England. In your mind you are suspect he will not break down along the way even in the best of weather as that has meen his MO, and you arent sure when hes leaving. A huge storm developes over 1000 miles away in England and looks but looks like it might travel to Portugal and brush your marina so you decide to make sure you boat is tied up well, While doing this you find out he has left for England that very night. You are afraid for his life , his crew, and his ship surviving this storm

What would you do?
Well, in fact something similar had happened to me. Long ago a very good sailor that was circumnavigating solo without engine on a small 30ft boat stayed in Peniche for some weeks and we socialized a lot. He left on the winter to Madeira and I was not sure it was the right thing to do. A big storm come in and I called to Madeira Port Captaincy to tell them I was afraid regarding my friend. They say they would be watching and in the same day through Peniche Port Captaincy I received this message: "Thanks Paulo, fantastic voyage. I arrived yesterday"

Today with Eperb technology and knowing he had an Epirb and a Satellite phone, I would not have to warn nobody. I would just call to be sure he had made it in safety.

Regards

Paulo
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Last edited by PCP; 02-25-2013 at 07:37 AM.
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  #1869  
Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Well, in fact something similar had happened to me. Long ago a very good sailor that was circumnavigating solo without engine on a small 30ft boat stayed in Peniche for some weeks and we socialized a lot. He left on the winter to Madeira and I was not sure it was the right thing to do. A big storm come in and I called to Madeira Port Captaincy to tell them I was afraid regarding my friend. They say they would be watching and in the same day through Peniche Port Captaincy I received this message: "Thanks Paulo, fantastic voyage. I arrived yesterday"

Today with Eperby technology and knowing he had an Epirb and a Satellite phone, I would not have to warn nobody. I would just call to be sure he had made it in safety.

Regards

Paulo
Somehow I knew you wouldnt be the fellow to just sit idly by and would have concern enough to check on him or alert someone. These Captains just sat and did nothing...nothing at all. No call, no e mail, no ssb message to him even warning him like a good friend might do, whether he listened to them or not. No attempt. No attempt to even tell him the updated hurricane had decided to hit NE or NY or NJ. No attempt at anything. And they were his friends and collegues. With friends like that...who needs em.

But they surely made certain they got in the press by drawing attention to their pontificated opinions the next day.

Quote:
Different people respond to grief differently however- DavidPM
As far as Jan Miles letter being one of his grief, read it over,,,hard to beleive that theory. And a public letter? Not buying it.
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Old 02-24-2013
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
I agree with that but not specifically in what regards the Tall Ship community. Comparing with Europe and in what regards private yachts America has a poor safety culture, I mean one that is mandatory, enforced and inspected....It is not to the Tall Ship Community that has the power to make the rules regarding safety and mandatory inspections but the Coast Guard. Yes I consider that the Coast Guard is also to blame in all this affair....
Maybe it's a language translation issue, but you don't seem to understand the meaning of the word "culture" as we yankees have used it. It is totally separate from regulation. A safety culture is a set of attitudes and practices that go beyond the mandatory regulations. Indeed, various groups (like the Tall Ship community) will often argue that increased regulation is not needed because their "culture" provides adequate self-policing. Just wait until there are some increased regulations proposed - I guarantee that you'll hear these arguments starting to be made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
...Allowing a ship like the Bounty to be classified as a simple Yacht and that way escape mandatory serious inspections and safety requirements is entirely on the Coats Guard. They did not need this accident to have made a recommendation for an alteration of the law. It was obvious that it was unsafe to allow big Tall ships to be considered as yachts...
I think the blame is shared with the Tall Ship Community. If what you've said is true and it was known that the ship was in bad shape, they had lots of ways to apply strong peer pressure. It seems like most Associations that sponsor races and other competitions have minimum safety rules that must be followed, including design criteria that ensure seaworthiness. What about the Tall Ships Challenge? If everybody knew what bad shape this boat was in, and that they were skirting the rules, why was Bounty admitted by the event organizers?

Hell, they even promoted the boat as accepting "students and groups of all ages."

Now try to tell me that the Tall Ship community isn't complicit in this disaster. This it not all the Coast Guard's fault.
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