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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Vessels Lost, Missing, or in Danger
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  #301  
Old 11-05-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Oh, for crying out loud I promised I would not do this.

Suppose that the investigation reveals that the malfunction had absolutely nothing to do with the weather...that the lee shore had no effect on the outcome...that the vessel would have sunk anyway without a hurricane to the southeast? Based on the captain's statements, this ship had seen worse than 18 ft. seas and 40 knot winds before.

I am not denying the presence of the weather, and the questionable judgement to head out. But it is possible that the facts could show that the weather was not a factor in the root cause, and then much of the speculation about it becomes moot. Had he stayed in for the hurricane, nobody would have died on that day. But what if the nature of the malfunction was something that would have happened on his NEXT trip out, and would have led to the same fatal result? Then the hurricane is moot, and people still would have died. It's purely speculation, but two can play that game.
How cannot have nothing to do with the weather? The ingress of water was progressive and in calm weather they had just to ask to CG to deliver them some diesel pumps and to tow the boat to shore.

Besides that email from the woman that tragically died makes clear that the engines and the generators (the only way to power the water pumps) were in bad shape, not reliable and that the crew was " always stewing over them".

Obviously the Captain knew that too as he knew the boat was making water. And here let me tell you that I live in a place where 30m wooden fishing boats still operate and a condition of a boat that needs to have the pumps working every hour to take water out would scare any fisherman.

How can this accident have nothing to do with the condition of the ship and the fact that the Captain took an unsuitable ship, in bad working condition to an hurricane taking a "calculated risk"?

The only situation it is acceptable for a Captain to take a calculated risk that puts in danger his crew is when all the other options imply a greater risk to the loss of human live. So you think that if he had not take that risk, sailing a Hurricane, and had stayed in Port the risk of loss of human life would be greater? Jesus

As it was already explained many times, it was not only the wind or the waves, but the type of sea condition that in that particular place, with that wind takes place.

Anyway, one thing is to be on high seas and be caught to an unavoidable storm, other thing is to sail deliberately to one, taking and avoidable risk.

I guess this Captain's statement says it all:

"we chase hurricanes...You try to get up as close to the eye of it as you can, and you stay down in the southeast quadrant, and when it stops, you stop, you don't want to get in front of it, you want to stay behind it, but you also get a good ride out of a hurricane,"

This Captain should have lost its license after having said this barbarity. He can do it alone in his boat and even so he is putting at risk the ones that sooner or later would be trying to save him, but doing this with a crew that has confidence his judgment about their safety, putting all in a "calculated risk"? This guy is irresponsible and that is the last thing a Captain should be.

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 11-05-2012 at 07:38 AM.
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  #302  
Old 11-05-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

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Originally Posted by xymotic View Post
Except a helicopter rescue in calm weather is a *little* different than one on the edge of a hurricane.
Good example of a moot point. The helicopter rescue was successful. Everyone on the life rafts was rescued. It's possible the outcome would have been the same in other conditions.
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  #303  
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

First, if you are going to call for a rescue, you have a responsibility to consider the conditions you might call them in.

I'm also finding most of the defense of the Capt to be more personal than rational. There has been major media that has been as damning as anyone here. I'll ask if those in defense of waiting for the investigation had lost a daughter, with little to no experience sailing this vessel and, therefore, reliant on the Captain's judgement, whether you would remain as patient.

Sure, there has been some verbal lynching here, but mostly its been an expression of opinion. That's everyone's right and this is not a court of law. There is no verdict, even from that express one in anger. Understandable anger, IMO. Its a discussion.

Even if the Capt were forced to take the boat out to sea, he put his job ahead of others lives. I just can't think of a situation where he can come out clean on this one, but I'm listening. If you agree that he is mostly likely at fault, I'm not fully understanding the pushback on talking about it.
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  #304  
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by JonEisberg
Fair enough... I'll be eagerly anticipating the emergence of the mitigating "facts" that will render "moot" the sailing of a pig like the BOUNTY into the teeth of the largest, most destructive hurricane ever to hit North America, and meeting it directly abeam of the most treacherous lee shore in the Western North Atlantic, and in opposition to one of the most powerful ocean currents on the planet...
Oh, for crying out loud I promised I would not do this.

Suppose that the investigation reveals that the malfunction had absolutely nothing to do with the weather...that the lee shore had no effect on the outcome...that the vessel would have sunk anyway without a hurricane to the southeast? Based on the captain's statements, this ship had seen worse than 18 ft. seas and 40 knot winds before.

I am not denying the presence of the weather, and the questionable judgement to head out. But it is possible that the facts could show that the weather was not a factor in the root cause, and then much of the speculation about it becomes moot. Had he stayed in for the hurricane, nobody would have died on that day. But what if the nature of the malfunction was something that would have happened on his NEXT trip out, and would have led to the same fatal result? Then the hurricane is moot, and people still would have died. It's purely speculation, but two can play that game.
Again, fair enough, that's possible, one must suppose...

However, I will simply say that if a final investigation determines this tragedy had "absolutely nothing to do with the weather", I will be VERY perplexed, to say the least...

Such a determination would seem a bit like suggesting the loss of RULE 62 had nothing to do with the skipper's decision to attempt to enter a Bahamian cut, at night, during a rage condition... But, perhaps that's just me, who might see it that way... (grin)

I'll concede your point, that it's possible some information that comes to light that further illuminates the "malfunction" that sealed the fate of the BOUNTY... What I'm seeking, at this point, are suggestions of factors/scenarios that would make the Master's decision to leave New London when he did, sailing the course he laid, passing on the opportunity to put into the Chesapeake/Hampton Roads/Portsmouth when he did, and so on - all appear to be the actions of a prudent and reasonable seaman...

Last edited by JonEisberg; 11-05-2012 at 07:06 AM.
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  #305  
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

I not defending, just pointing out that speculation may be fruitless. Go at it if you have time to spare.
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  #306  
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
I not defending, just pointing out that speculation may be fruitless. Go at it if you have time to spare.
Not sure if your post is in response to mine, but...

Actually, I believe I've attempted to avoid pure "speculation" in the course of this thread. Based somewhat on the evidence provided by the interview with Trowbirdge in Belfast, I have my own "hunch" on what might have informed his decision to sail, but I've kept that to myself, and haven't offered it here... Sure, I have invited speculation on the part of those who appear to believe there may have been some good reason(s) for this voyage, simply because I'm completely at a loss to come up with any on my own...

I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree that it is not "speculation" to point out that to have deliberately placed his crew in the Gulf Stream, between Cape Hatteras and a storm as powerful as Sandy, aboard a wooden ship a half-century old, was a VERY risky and unwise maneuver... Generations of Atlantic sailors would likely agree, perhaps the Bay of Biscay is the only other place in the North Atlantic basin which might be as treacherous in such weather...

I've spoken to numerous friends and professional acquaintances about this tragedy, and to a person, EVERY one's initial reaction has been the same: Namely, "WTF were they doing out there in the first place???"

The burden of proof seems raised absurdly high, if it is not by now considered a reasonably well established FACT among sailors that the BOUNTY'S position would be a very, VERY bad place to be in such conditions... And, it was most certainly no ACCIDENT that she was there, at that time...
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  #307  
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
...
The burden of proof seems raised absurdly high, if it is not by now considered a reasonably well established FACT among sailors that the BOUNTY'S position would be a very, VERY bad place to be in such conditions... And, it was most certainly no ACCIDENT that she was there, at that time...
Hummm I wonder what you want to suggest with this. I know that they were trying to unsuccessfully sell the boat for several years but..... its is hard to believe even in the possibility of a Captain to risk the lives of others on account of insurance claims

Or do you mean that the Captain was just crazy and was just doing what he said he likes to do: Chasing Hurricanes?

Anyway it is obviously that the ship was there because the Captain wanted, not by accident in a sense that he was not caught inadvertently by that storm. He could have stayed in Port, several of them. Is this what you mean when you say "NOT BY ACCIDENT"?

Regards

Paulo

Last edited by PCP; 11-05-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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  #308  
Old 11-05-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Does anyone know of any other captains who set sail toward hurricane Sandy at the approximate time Captain Walbridge did?
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  #309  
Old 11-05-2012
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TakeFive View Post
Oh, for crying out loud I promised I would not do this.

Suppose that the investigation reveals that the malfunction had absolutely nothing to do with the weather...that the lee shore had no effect on the outcome...that the vessel would have sunk anyway without a hurricane to the southeast? Based on the captain's statements, this ship had seen worse than 18 ft. seas and 40 knot winds before.

I am not denying the presence of the weather, and the questionable judgement to head out. But it is possible that the facts could show that the weather was not a factor in the root cause, and then much of the speculation about it becomes moot. Had he stayed in for the hurricane, nobody would have died on that day. But what if the nature of the malfunction was something that would have happened on his NEXT trip out, and would have led to the same fatal result? Then the hurricane is moot, and people still would have died. It's purely speculation, but two can play that game.
You're absolutely right about the fact that the boat could have dropped a plank or something similar and went down like a rock. Maybe someone on the re-fit forgot to fasten a plank...who knows? Anything is possible. The thing most are questioning is the decision to go rather than stay put. I don't think anyone on this thread would have set out and headed into a hurricane by choice. As I said previously, it just makes no sense. The simple equation is that if the boat was not where it was, these people would probably still be alive. Losing that theoretical plank when she was not heading into a hurricane would have very likely resulted in a different outcome. Then again, maybe in a worse outcome much farther from shore and help with the loss of all hands. The frustration and anger of most posters is based on the decision to sail which just can't be fathomed. In the grand fateful scheme of things, maybe it actually saved the other 14 crew members.
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Last edited by smurphny; 11-05-2012 at 10:45 AM. Reason: error
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Re: HMS Bounty in trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Hummm I wonder what you want to suggest with this. I know that they were trying to unsuccessfully sell the boat for several years but..... its is hard to believe even in the possibility of a Captain to risk the lives of others on account of insurance claims

Or do you mean that the Captain was just crazy and was just doing what he said he likes to do: Chasing Hurricanes?

Anyway it is obviously that he was there because the Captain wanted, not by accident in a sense that he was not caught inadvertently by that storm. He could have stayed in Port, several of them. Is this what you mean when you say "NOT BY ACCIDENT"?

Regards

Paulo
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