These photos, just released by the U.S. Coast Guard, show the 180-foot tall ship, HMS Bounty, as it sank today in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C..

Of the 16-person crew, the Coast Guard rescued 14, recovered a woman and is searching for the captain of the vessel.

gCaptain’s Coverage:

Above photos by U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski.

Below, rescued crewmembers from the sunken HMS Bounty arrive Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. on Monday, October 29, 2012.

US Coast Guard Photo

US Coast Guard Photo

US Coast Guard Photo

The Coast Guard’s search area for the HMS Bounty is shown, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Coast Guard cutters and aircraft are searching for the missing captain of the vessel. U.S. Coast Guard photo


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      • Mo

        I had heard from my captain that they thought it would be safer at sea- (I do not know that this was true) and ‘old’ ships still have to have engines these days. But true she is not a cargo ship that can do 22 knots, I would expect she could have done 10kn easy enough.

        • Pete

          10knots is still slower than the storm was travelling. There’s not much that can be done in these situations.
          Most ships leave port ahead of a storm rather than be smashed against concrete and rocks.

  • MarineWeather

    Well, for sure it’s a big tradegy. I really hope that they will find the missing captain.

    I’d like to know also, when did the engine malfunction happen exactly. The frankenstorm did not show there out of the blue… Why they did not move away from the storm forcasted trajectory?

  • manny fagundes

    That capt.was an idiot. How dare he endanger that crew like that. What a stupid way to die.

  • Taylor Gregg

    The safest place for a large vessel is generally at sea, not heading for land. As for running aground, there are no shallows in that area. As for generators going out, apparently the only way aboard the Bounty for pumping the bilges was electric motors, run off the generators, a system not available or relied upon back in the day. Old ships take on water over the decks but also through the planking, as the shell twists from bow to stern riding the waves, so pretty constant pumping is required to to stay afloat.

  • rgratsea

    I have 25 years under sail as master of my own vessels. Common wisdom is to head out to sea – deep water – to ride out a storm. Going in is generally the worst choice as boats don’t fare well when they encounter shallow water and the shoreline. Another factor is the speed and direction of the storm relative to the ship’s position and the speed it can achieve in a desired direction. Sailing vessels live with water currents, different than a wheeled vehicle on a roadway. The current pulls one direction, the wind pushes another, and the vessel may want to go another. Sometimes, “you can’t get there from here.” The Captain made the best choice he could in extreme conditions. Stupid people do not become masters of large sailing vessels. Be quick to sympathize, slow to criticize. Particularly if you have never sailed such a vessel. Even small boat sailors have a sense of the possible dangers of taking a boat off the docks and prepare for the eventualities. Condolences to the Captain’s family in the assurance he did all he could as evidenced by the saving of 14 of the crew.

    • garrison

      To rgratsea, thank you for your knowledgeable email. What a tragedy, and for the bravery of the USCG crews, so many were rescued.
      So sorry that Claudene Christian died, and now I’m praying Capt. Walbridge will be found safe.

      • Carl Ring

        Hello folks,
        first- condoleances to the families of the lost sailors. The worry is always present, the worry calls in.
        Sooner or later the sea takes all ships.
        I have been a captain of sailing ships for over 42 years. As a captain- I believe that Bountys captain also was well experienced- I know what is best for my crew and my ship under given circumstances. I have no doubt he took the right decisions out of the conditions they were in. Bounty was 52 years old and had had many twisting waves banging into her hull. This weakens fastenings, makes boltholes bigger, makes caulking softer, the planks are not as elastic as they were before. You can survey and repair a ship for over 120 yars- but know that that ship will eventually in whole be softer and more vulnerable to natures powers, no matter how many new parts you fit in. This, I think crossed the captains mind as water started to come in to the ship. I would most likely try to go closer to the shore and be ready to sneak into more even water as the worst of the storm passes my head. Sitting in a steel ship with all modern amenities is different- then I just head out into THAT safety. Bounty was not in condition like new. She was put up for sale- I believe the costs for maintenance were crossing the x/y axis.
        Looking at pictures from the USCG you see that she had lost all three topmasts and that a few sails had come loose. This makes me believe that she had encountered extreme brutality and that the crew was not able to handle the situation. Together with major leakage this must have put the ship out of control. The generators (I believe they were two plus those 12 or 24 volt generators on the main engine,-s would supply pumping power enough for holding off a substantial leak. But when it comes in more, it will be all black within the hour. So it is. You cannot hop in and stuff in some linen towels and stop the leak when the waves are higher that 4 ft. Trying to bang in these from the inside is in vain. Believe me- I have tried. Not in my ships which are from steel, but others from wood, just like Bounty. Myself I don’t have to reflect long time to visualize the difficulties. I know of 3 ships that encontered the same fate. The hull starts leaking and you decide you rather want to wash up somewhere. That’s it. Go for a Sandy beach.

        Carl Ring, Sweden
        tall ship captain, NA, surveyor

        • Anna Hawthorne

          To Carl Ring~ thank you kindly for your descriptive letter.. clarifying action, effect and outcomes for Bounty and crew. Would you comment on the red form which appears aft on a boom or spar as seen in above photo?

          • Carl Ring

            Looking at the pictures, I saw the red figure and it appears on one photo to be on the lowest yard of the foremast. To me it looks like a person. You can even see a glimpse of yellow which is normally the canopy of a survival suit. I wonder if the USCG has analyzed the pictures which with them must have better resolution, Further, I see that all three middle mast are gone. That all remaining yards are in total disorder. The ship must have had a serious knock-down to have resulted like this. I hope to hear comments from the crew on this.
            We should not make to many assumptions however, but try to catch up with fact reports. There will be sea trial and before that the preliminary hearings which must have been done.


    • tim mcshane

      Interesting to note that all three mast heads seem to be missing?? perhaps too much sail up??

    • Captain Kate

      Thank you for that, Capt Kate

  • Carl Ring

    Our comments should be respectful and find their substance in knowledge- not in speculations based in lack of specific knowledge. Please show dignity.

    Carl Ring

  • ex-crew

    For those of you who question the decision to be in route during an approaching storm….here this !!!!!! they were in 40kt winds when they put in there call for assistance… 40kts is nothing for a ship like that!!!!!!!…. and also there is a navigable side to such counter-clock wise storms… and they were on the east side heading east …. which is the correct side and direction to be headed!!!!!! the storm was headed in shore away from them at the time !!!!!!and if they had not lost propulsion and generators to keep the pumps goings…. we wouldn’t even be talking about this!!!!! So before you criticize someone who is a first class professional skipper …. about something you obviously know little to nothing about…. think first … if you have that capibility?

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