Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:09 PM
KoKo (80,812 posts)
"The Incredible Truth About a Ship That Never Should Have Sailed"
Outside Magazine, April 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
Sunk: The Incredible Truth About a Ship That Never Should Have Sailed
When the Bounty went down during Hurricane Sandy, millions watched on TV as the Coast Guard rescued 14 survivors—but couldn’t save the captain and one of his crew. A huge question lingered in the aftermath: what was this vessel—a leaking replica built in 1960 for the film Mutiny on the Bounty—doing in the eye of the storm?
As far as hurricanes go, Sandy was not particularly powerful—on the weekend of October 28, it was fluctuating between hurricane and tropical-storm status—but it made up for that in size and complexity. Sandy would ultimately cover 1.8 million square miles and take on characteristics of what meteorologists call a hybrid storm: in this case, part hurricane, part nor’easter. The Bounty’s last known position—about 100 miles off Cape Fear around noon—put the vessel right in the worst of it, with winds at 60 knots and pelting rain severe enough to render even a large wooden ship invisible on radar. Sending the C-130 was risky, but Coast Guard officials hoped McIntosh could get close enough to establish communication and assess the situation. Once weather conditions allowed, rescue choppers could fly out from Elizabeth City if need be.
The plane took off from Raleigh around 11 p.m. Before long its anti-icing system failed, forcing McIntosh to fly below 7,000 feet. Then the weather radar malfunctioned. McIntosh and his co-pilot, Mike Myers, were now flying using visual flight rules in zero-visibility conditions. Wearing night-vision goggles to help them pick through layers of clouds, they descended to 1,000 feet. Then to 500 feet—right into the brunt of the storm.
By now it was just after midnight. While McIntosh struggled to steer, Myers searched for the Bounty. “I kept asking Mike, ‘What do you see? What do you see?’” McIntosh recalls. Finally, Myers shot back, “I see a giant pirate ship in the middle of a hurricane.”
The plane initiated a sharp circle so the flight crew could get a better look. The Bounty was listing at a 45-degree angle, its starboard side all but submerged. Waves the size of two-story houses crashed over the hull.
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"The Incredible Truth About a Ship That Never Should Have Sailed" (Original post)
Response to KoKo (Original post)
Sun Feb 17, 2013, 02:59 AM
Buns_of_Fire (9,575 posts)
5. We'll never know what Captain Walbridge was thinking...
but it seems to me that leaving port in the face of a hurricane in a leaking, 1960 movie prop surely wasn't the best option open to him.
Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #5)
Sun Feb 17, 2013, 08:28 PM
KoKo (80,812 posts)
6. it's so bizarre and tragic. I was on the "Bounty" when it docked
some years ago in Wilmington,NC...and it was fascinating going aboard and seeing how the sailors lived...plus the Captain's Quarters.
It was truly much fun and so I was really upset to see it sunk under such mysterious circumstances.
We were on there with a School Group...and the kids just loved the whole thing, plus we had a guide who really made the whole history of the Ship come to life for us.
For those of us, older, who had read the book...it was like a kids fantasy realized..
It's quite a story and that the Coast Guard tried to do the impossible was a thrill read.