'Reckless' Captain Sunk HMS Bounty: Report

Surviving crew members disagree with NTSB
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2014 3:23 AM CST
HMS Bounty Sinking Blamed on 'Reckless' Captain
The HMS Bounty was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty, and also appeared in a Pirates of the Caribbean film.   (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

The missing and presumed dead captain of the HMS Bounty takes the blame for the tall ship's sinking in a newly released National Transportation Safety Board report. The wooden replica of an 18th-century sailing ship sank 125 miles off the North Carolina coast during Hurricane Sandy, and the NTSB concluded that Capt. Robin Walbridge's "reckless decision" to sail the aging vessel into the storm with an inexperienced crew was the cause of the sinking, reports the AP. One crew member died and Walbridge's body has never been found.

"The Bounty's crew was put into an extraordinarily hazardous situation through decisions that by any measure didn't prioritize safety," the NTSB's chief said in a statement, noting that the replica ship's captain "had access to 21st century hurricane modeling tools." But during Coast Guard hearings, none of the 14 surviving crew members blamed the captain, who had often stated his belief that a ship was safer at sea than in port during a storm. "Robin thought a lot about safety," one crew member tells CNN. "But I agree that he also during his career had been walking this line of going out in big storms and making it." (More Hurricane Sandy stories.)

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