My ears perked up earlier this week when I heard that the tall ship, Bounty, went down in high seas off the North Carolina coast during Hurricane Sandy. Sadly, one crewmember died and the captain is still missing at this writing.
My son, Jim, and I had the privilege of touring Bounty as she sat at Navy Pier in Chicago during a visit by several tall ships a couple of summers ago.
The HMS Bounty is one of the most famous ships in the world. Known for the storied mutiny that took place in Tahiti in 1789 on board the British transport vessel, the current Bounty, a replica, has survived to tell the tale. Built for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” with Marlon Brando, HMS Bounty sailed the country offering dockside tours in which one can learn about the history and details of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized time in maritime history. Since her debut in “Mutiny on the Bounty”, HMS Bounty has appeared in many documentaries and featured films such as the Edinburgh Trader in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest with Johnny Depp.
The picture below was used in the video trailer for my book, Captain Jack's Treasure
The crew abandoned the ship, which had lost propulsion, after it began taking on water, the Coast Guard said, according to the Associated Press.
The ship was trapped in 40-mph winds and 18-foot seas about 160 miles west of the eye of the hurricane, according to a Coast Guard statement. Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Operational Commander for the Atlantic Area, told ABC's Good Morning America that at the time of the distress call, the ship was taking on 2 feet of water an hour. It had about 10 feet of water when the crew abandoned the ship.
The Coast Guard first received a call Sunday evening from the ship's owner who said she had lost communication with the crew.
A signal from the ship's emergency radio beacon later confirmed that the vessel was in distress and gave its position.
Learning of this sad episode in the life of such a fine ship, I’m glad we had the opportunity to tour the ship both above and below deck.