Bounty (1960 ship)
Bounty leaving Greenock, Scotland
|Owner:||HMS Bounty Organization LLC|
|Builder:||Smith and Rhuland Ltd
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia
|Homeport:||Greenport, Suffolk County, New York,United States|
|Identification:||Call sign: WDD9114
IMO number: 960956
MMSI number: 369191000
|Fate:||Sunk off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy on 29 October 2012|
|Length:||180 ft (54.9 m) sparred
120 ft (37 m) on deck
|Beam:||31.6 ft (9.6 m)|
|Height:||111 ft (33.8 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft (4.0 m)|
|Depth:||21.3 ft (6.5 m)|
|Installed power:||2 × John Deere 375 hp (280 kW) diesel engines|
|Sail plan:||Full-rigged ship
Sail area; 10,000 sq ft (929 m2)
Bounty (popularly HMS Bounty[FN 1]) was an enlarged reconstruction of the original 1787 Royal Navy sailing ship HMS Bounty. Built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1960, she sank off the coast of North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy on 29 October 2012.
Bounty was commissioned by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty. She was the first large vessel built from scratch for a film using historical sources. Previous film vessels were fanciful conversions of existing vessels. Bounty was built to the original ship's drawings from files in the British Admiralty archives, and in the traditional manner at the Smith and Rhuland shipyard in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. To assist film-making and carry production staff, her waterline length was increased from the original 86 to 120 feet (26.2 to 36.6 m) and the beam was also increased.[FN 2] Rigging was scaled up to match. While built for film use, she was fully equipped for sailing. Her construction helped inspire other large sailing replicas such as Bluenose II and HMS Rose.
Bounty was launched on August 27, 1960. Crewed by Lunenburg fishermen and film staff, the vessel sailed via the Panama Canal to Tahiti for filming. Bounty was scheduled to be burned at the end of the film, but actor Marlon Brando protested, so MGM kept the vessel. After filming and a worldwide promotional tour, the ship was berthed in St. Petersburg, Florida as a permanent tourist attraction, where she stayed until the mid-1980s. In 1986 Ted Turner acquired the MGM film library and Bounty with it. The ship was used for promotion and entertainment, and was used during the filming of Treasure Island with Charlton Heston in 1989.
In 1993, Turner donated the ship to the Fall River Chamber Foundation, which established the Tall Ship Bounty Foundation to operate the ship as an educational venture. In February 2001, Bounty was purchased from the Foundation by the HMS Bounty Organization LLC.
At one point in her life,[when?] lack of maintenance caused the vessel to temporarily lose her United States Coast Guard license, but Bounty was restored. The vessel's bottom planking was restored at the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard in 2002. Moored in her winter home in St. Petersburg, Florida, she again became available for charter, excursions, sail-training, and movies including Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, In April 2006, Bounty again arrived in Boothbay Harbor for further renovation including refurbishing the ship's bow and topside decking. Following this renovation, Bounty was scheduled to repeat the famous voyage of the original Bounty.
Post-restoration, thieves, and sale attempt
On 9 August 2007, Bounty stopped at Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The ship had just completed a US $3 million restoration and was making a seven-week UK tour prior to embarking on a world tour via South Africa and New Zealand to Pitcairn and Tahiti. The UK tour began with her arrival at the birthplace of mutiny leader Fletcher Christian in Maryport, Cumbria, at midday on Tuesday, 14 August 2007. The ship was about three days ahead of schedule which is why she sought out Londonderry for a 'quiet' stopover before completing the journey to Maryport. On 23 August 2007 the ship docked in Torquay, Devon, for several days.
On Saturday 12 September 2009, the ship was berthed at Custom House Quay in Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland, as part of a tour of several UK ports. At about 04:10 BST thieves targeted the ship and stole a small sum of cash, several items of clothing with Bounty's insignia, a survival suit, a book, a life ring and an American flag. The items were later recovered nearby.
Bounty's owners had tried, unsuccessfully, to sell the vessel since 2010. The ship was for sale as of 2012 for US$4.6 million. In winter of 2012, the ship was stationed in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She took part in OpSail 2012 and, in July 2012, was in Halifax, Nova Scotia. On 3 September, Bounty sailed off the dock from Gloucester, Massachusetts to Eastport, Maine. After a stop at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, she pulled into Boothbay Harbor for dry dock and maintenance. She was launched from the Boothbay Harbor Shipyard on 17 October 2012. Bounty left Boothbay bound for New York early 21 October 2012.
On October 25, 2012, the vessel left New London, Connecticut, heading for St. Petersburg, Florida, initially going on an easterly course to avoid Hurricane Sandy. On 29 October 2012 at 03:54 EDT, the ship's owner called the United States Coast Guard for help during the hurricane after she lost contact with the ship's master. He was an amateur radio operator and used Winlink on shortwave to send an e-mail to the Coast Guard, because common communication methods like satellite phone or Maritime Mobile Net had failed. The ship's master had reported she was taking on water off the coast of North Carolina, about 160 miles (260 km) from the storm, and the crew were preparing to abandon ship. There were sixteen people aboard. Vice Admiral Parker, USCG, reported the ship had sunk and fourteen people had been rescued from liferafts by two rescue helicopters. The storm had washed the captain and two crew overboard—one of the latter had made it to a liferaft, but the other two were missing. They wore orange survival suits complete with strobe lights, thereby giving rescuers some hope of finding them alive. Claudene Christian, one of the two missing crew members and who claimed to be a descendant of HMS Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian, was found by the Coast Guard. She was unresponsive, and rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The other missing crew member was long-time captain Robin Walbridge. Raised in Montpelier, Vermont, Walbridge later moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. He was a field mechanic on houseboats who worked his way up to obtaining a 1600 ton license in 1995, when he began working as a Bounty crew member. Search efforts for Walbridge continued over an area of 12,000 square nautical miles until they were suspended on 1 November 2012.
A formal investigation into the sinking was ordered by USCG Rear Admiral Steven Ratti on 2 November 2012.
The inquiry was held in Portsmouth, Virginia from February 12 to 21, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bounty II (ship, 1960).|
- HMAV Bounty, replica built in New Zealand in 1978 for the Dino De Laurentiis film The Bounty (1984).
- The ship is not entitled to the use of the prefix 'HMS' as it has never been commissioned into the Royal Navy. Here 'HMS' is treated as part of the popular name, and not as a ship prefix.
- The extended length increased 40% from 86 to 120 feet (26.2 to 36.6 m), while the ship's beam was widened 23% as 24.3 to 30 feet (7.4 to 9.1 m).
- "HMS Bounty Sinks Off NC Coast, 14 People Rescued, Two Possibly Missing". WITN-TV. Retrieved 2012-10-29.
- Gilkerson, William, "Replicas: History of a Phenomenon", Wooden Boat, No. 172, May/June 2003, p.67-68.
- Background Story
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- "Coast Guard suspends search for missing captain of HMS Bounty" (Press release). United States Coast Guard. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-01.
- "HMS Bounty (1960) Last Position". SailWX.info. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
- Ware, Beverley (3 November 2012). "Bounty crew to testify at inquiry into sinking". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-04.
- Schaer, Robin Beth (2 November 2012). "Falling Overboard". The Paris Review Daily: First Person. Retrieved 9 November 2012.