The crew should have refused Captain’s orders to go out with a hurricane over the horizon. I’m sure Cap’n Bligh would not have, he was too good of a sailor.
The tall ship had left Connecticut last week en route for St. Petersburg, Fla., heading South and keeping near to the coast. It’s reported that the owners were seeking a buyer somewhere down in the Gulf.
This beautiful reproduction was built in 1960 for the famous Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty in 1962, and when I first went to New York as a young actor tried every which way to get on it as an actor and an ex British Merchant Navy crewman, but it wasn’t to be. I never heard back. The ship had deteriorated through the years, and was bought by an admirer who lovingly restored it at great cost, and it came to be used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The restoration itself had become an antique!
It went down yesterday, steering lost, and 16 crew abandoned ship most being thrown in the water. All except 2 were saved. A young woman was found dead, and the captain can’t be found. He may have floated off somewhere in his life preserver, but cannot be rescued now anyway. Heartbreaking news. How the captain chose to go out a few days ago under full sail is hard to fathom. Warnings were up of the dangers of Hurricane Sandy. He had hoped to stay close to the coast, head South, and avoid the storm. He didn’t make it. Perhaps he was ordered to try, but if true, there are shades of the Titanic!
I am reminded of another similar foundering of a tall ship during Hurricane Carrie, that of the British barque Pamir (not a restoration), off the Azores. I remember announcing that tragedy when I worked as a news announcer on FM radio in Toronto. I made it the headline of that day, September 21, 1957. She had a crew of 86, most of them cadets. Only 6 were saved in that one.
Here’s the Pamir story, and it’s worth a read.