RCN America Network
Feb. 20, 2013
Today was a very busy day at the HMS Bounty hearings. We heard from two Bounty hands and three captains of other tall ships.
First up today was Anna Sprague Deckhand on the bounty. Much of her testimony was the same as we have been hearing. She spoke of how long it took to get the first person into the life raft. It took nearly an hour to get 6 people into the raft. Anna stated that at one point she could hear a cry for help “Help me I’m caught” But they were too farr away to get to.
There was continued questioning astute bilge pump systems and how there were concerns about the pumps before the ship set out for Florida.
We also heard from Jessica Black the cook on the Bounty. She joined the crew the day before they sailed.
On October 19th they were scheduled to sail south from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia but due to the weather forecast for the next days they postponed their departure. As the storm developed the decision was made to prepare for heavy weather at the dock in Lunenburg.
When asked his reaction to finding out that Captain Walbridge had taken the HMS Bounty into the hurricane, Captain Moreland said that if he had found out sooner he would have personally called him and even yelled at him for making such a decision.
He stated he could not imagine heading out into that storm, he could not believe it, it was shocking.
When asked “ What was your reaction to the Bounty sailing into the teeth of a hurricane, Captain Miles stated that he could not understand, “I was rather stunned!” They should have stayed in port or possible moved to New Bedford which was better protected. He stated he could not understand a reason to sail into that kind of weather. Mariners should avoid as best they can a hurricane. “It was reckless in the extreme!”
The last witness of the day was Captain Bailey of the Gazela Primeiro and the replica of the HMS Rose which appeared in the movie Master and Commander. When asked about Captain Walbridges decision to sail he stated he could not understand what would cause him to do such a thing.