USCG Releases Investigation Report Into Tall Ship Bounty Sinking

HMS Bounty Sinking USCG Photo
On October 29, 2012, the tall ship Bounty sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, while attempting to transit through the forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

The U.S. Coast Guard on Thursday released its report on the investigation into the October 2012 fatal sinking of the tall ship Bounty during Hurricane Sandy off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, which resulted in the death of one crewmember and the Captain.

The findings in the report concluded that a combination of faulty management and crew risk assessment procedures contributed to the sinking. Specifically, choosing to navigate a vessel in insufficient material condition in close proximity to an approaching hurricane with an inexperienced crew was highlighted, the report says.

The report recommends that the Coast Guard review the existing policy for attraction vessels, including vessel manning and operating status.

The report also lists such recommendations as that the HMS Bounty Organization establish organizational policy that dictates vessel operational parameters based on weather, sea state or destination, and also establish organizational policy and requirements for hiring of a professional engineer in the event they operate a vessel in the future.

The Coast Guard’s Sinking of the tall ship Bounty investigation report can be downloaded HERE.

The 108-foot-long tall wooden replica of the original 18th century HMS Bounty set sail on October 25, 2012 from New London, Connecticut, for St. Petersburg, Florida, into the forecasted path of Superstorm Sandy, just one day after the closely watched storm reached hurricane strength. On the morning of October 29, 2012, the ship began to take on water, forcing the crew to abandon the ship in liferafts. The U.S. Coast Guard was able to rescue all but two of the Bounty’s 16 crewmembers.

Hours after rescue operations had commenced, the coast guard recovered the body of a crewmember who was found wearing an immersion suit. The Captain’s body was never recovered.

The Coast Guard investigation report follows the NTSB’s incident report released in February, which found that the captain’s “reckless decision to sail into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy” was the probable cause.

If the above link to the Coast Guard’s report is not working, use this one under “Marine Casualty Reports”.

SEE ALSO: Mario Vittone’s Bounty Hearings Coverage