Federal report blames the TS Bounty captain's 'reckless decision to sail into Hurricane Sandy's path'

A report into the sinking of Tall Ship Bounty off Cape Hatteras,

North Carolina, USA has found that the ‘captain’s reckless decision’ was the probable cause.

On October 29, 2012, TS Bounty sank while attempting to transit through the forecasted path

of Hurricane Sandy.

Three of the 16 people on board were seriously

injured, one crewmember died, and the captain was never found. The

vessel’s estimated value was $4million.

The National Transportation Safety Board has now released a report, which states that the probable cause of the sinking of Bounty

was the captain’s reckless decision to sail the vessel into the well

forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy.

It concludes that this subjected the aging vessel and

the inexperienced crew to conditions from which the vessel could not


Contributing to the sinking was the lack of effective safety

oversight by the vessel organization.

History of the Bounty

The Bounty was a replica of the original 18th Century British Admiralty vessel of the same name.

MGM Studios built the vessel, in a larger size, to be featured in the 1962 film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty‘.

After filming concluded, the Bounty traveled the world on a promotional tour for the movie. In 1965, the vessel arrived in St. Petersburg, Florida, where it spent most of the next 21 years, primarily as a dockside tourist attraction.

In 1986, Turner Broadcasting bought the Bounty and in 1993 donated the vessel to the city of Fall River, Massachusetts, where it sat in disrepair until 2001, when the current management company, HMS Bounty Organization, LLC (or ‘vessel organization’) bought the vessel.

The Bounty was listed for sale in 2010 and the organisation was still trying to sell the vessel when it sank.

Find the full report here.

Pictures: The

Bounty, photographed from a Coast Guard aircraft above, before the vessel sank.


Bounty under sail. Credit: US Coastguard


satellite image of Hurricane Sandy, midday on Sunday, October 28, overlaid on

the image is the approximate position of the Bounty at that time.


satellite image showing the approximate southbound path of the Bounty and the

approximate northbound path of Hurricane Sandy.