Bounty captain's "reckless decision" doomed tall ship, NTSB says

In this handout image supplied by the US Coast Guard, The HMS Bounty, a 180-foot sailboat, is submerged in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina, on October 29, 2012.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski/ /U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images

The sinking of the HMS Bounty off the North Carolina coast in October 2012 was likely caused by the captain’s "reckless decision to sail into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy," the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released Monday.

 The captain and one crewmember of the 180-foot tall ship died. The remaining 14 crewmembers were rescued by the Coast Guard.

The ship was originally built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando, and it was featured in several other films over the years, including one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

The report noted that despite the vessel's age, the "captain had access to 21st century hurricane modeling tools that predicted the path and severity of Hurricane Sandy.”

The report concluded that the voyage "should never have been attempted.”

 Coast Guard video of the rescue showed crew members being loaded one by one into a basket before the basket was hoisted into the helicopter.

When they returned to the mainland, some were wrapped in blankets, still wearing the blazing red survival suits they put on to stay warm in the chilly waters.

The vessel left Connecticut with a crew of 11 men and five women, ranging in age from 20 to 66. Everyone aboard knew the journey could be treacherous.

"This will be a tough voyage for Bounty," read a posting on the ship's Facebook page that showed a map of its coordinates and satellite images of the storm.

As the storm gathered strength, the Facebook posts grew grimmer. The last update was short and ominous: "Please bear with us ... There are so many conflicting stories going on now. We are waiting for some confirmation."