Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

'Bounty' crew member tells of questions before ship sank

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — With the replica ship HMS Bounty taking on water and the decision to abandon ship in the middle of Hurricane Sandy nearing, Capt. Robin Walbridge gathered the crew to ask the same question federal officials are now investigating: What exactly went wrong?

"He asked for some brainstorming. At what point did we lose control? I don't know that anybody had many ideas," the ship's boatswain, Laura Groves, told a federal safety panel at a Virginia hotel on Friday.

One member of the 18th-century replica ship's crew died and Walbridge, 63, who lived in St. Petersburg, was never found after the ship sank off Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Oct. 29 during Hurricane Sandy. The ship was headed to the Pier in St. Petersburg, where it spent winters.

The three-mast sailing ship was built for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando, and was featured in several other films over the years, including one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.

Officials from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are holding eight days of hearings to determine what caused it to sink and to make recommendations to prevent similar deaths.

"The only thing that was clear is that there was an open seam in the engine room above the water line in the portside. You could hear water coming in when we rolled," Groves said. A boatswain is in charge of a ship's deck crew.

The ship had been taking on water as its pumps failed, had no engine power and was headed in the path of the hurricane when the ship rolled and tossed the crew into the Atlantic Ocean.

Groves and Daniel Cleveland, the Bounty's third mate, testified that getting into a life raft once they were in the water was difficult and that they were injured while trying to escape the ship. Other crew members were seen holding onto wooden pieces of the ship to stay afloat before they could get into a raft. All 14 surviving crew members are scheduled to testify. Testimony is scheduled to last through Thursday.

'Bounty' crew member tells of questions before ship sank 02/15/13 [Last modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 11:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: 'Hamilton' cast sings 'Happy Birthday' to celebrate 'Stars Wars' 40th Anniversary

    Blogs

    The cast of Hamilton sang a rendition of "Happy Birthday" for Star Wars' 40th Anniversary.
  2. Tarpon Springs man killed after three cars hit him on U.S. 19 in Holiday

    Accidents

    A Tarpon Springs man was killed Wednesday night in Holiday after he was struck by three cars as he attempted to cross U.S. 19, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  3. Siesta Beach tops Dr. Beach's rankings of best locations in America

    Tourism

    Three beaches in Florida made it on a highly coveted list of the top 10 in America this year, ranked by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. "Dr. Beach."

    This May 18, 2017 photo shows Siesta Beach on Siesta Key in Sarasota, Fla. Siesta Beach is No. 1 on the list of best beaches for the summer of 2017 compiled by Stephen Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, a professor at Florida International University. [Chris O'Meara | Associated Press]
  4. Tattooed 'Joker' accused of pointing gun at Miami traffic

    Bizarre News

    MIAMI — Police in Miami-Dade County have managed to arrest the Joker without Batman's help following reports of a green-haired man with tattoos on his face pointing a gun at traffic.

    This photo provided by the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department shows Lawrence Sullivan, who was arrested in Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, and charged with carrying a concealed firearm. Police say the self-described "tattoo model" was pointing a gun at moving vehicles. [Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department via AP]
  5. Deputies: Two men, teen intentionally set fire, left it to burn within Weedon Island Preserve

    Fire

    ST. PETERSBURG –– Two men and a teen face charges after deputies say they deliberately started a fire within Weedon Island Preserve last month.

    Adam Grote, 19, left, and Brandon Kholos, 20, along with a 17-year-old, face charges after deputies say they intentionally started a fire on April 15, 2017, that burned about six acres on Googe Island within Weedon Island Preserve in St. Petersburg. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]