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Bounty Hearings

THE USCG is holding hearings today into the sinking of the Bounty. Our coverage of the Bounty Sinking can be found in our first post and Second Post.

The Chronical Hearld has the following stories:
Horrific last moments for Bounty victims
Christian family seeks truth

And will be Live Blogging via  Bounty captain’s competency at issue in Coast Guard hearing
Updates Below are based on that live blogging, and may be incomplete. G-Captain has a reporter at the hearings, and I will provide links to thier summary as well.

 UpdatesTestimony Day 1:
Chief Mate Testimony indicates that the Ships Stability Letter was not Followed/Accurate,and that bilges required regular pumping- once or twice every 4 hours. Modifications were made to the ship moving fuel tanks, and structure Aft during September/October refit, as well as replacing some above waterline planks. She also carried addtional lead balast aft.

On the 28th, making 10 knots, twice normal speed. sail damaged by wind, and is fureled. around 4pm, port fuel tank glass breaks, spilling fuel, port engine and generator go down. pumps running continuously, dirt and dust is accumulating in filters. Lack or port generator lead t ofuel starvation of starboard engine.

water was coming in between planks above waterline port side by main and mizzen masts, above engine and tank rooms. Imersion suits were put on when water was between decks. The ship rolled, and most were thrown off. Seas were 28feet, wind 40knots at time of capsizing.

G-Captain has a good summary of the days testimony.

Day 2
Today will feature a woman from the bounty office, as well as a representive of the shipyard who did work on the bounty before she sailed.

The bounties director of shoreside operations basically testified that. The ship was not a passenger vessel and only crew sailed aboard her. Bounty was surveyed in 2012 for the insurance company. The bounty had o written procedures, and most details of the ships operation were left up to the captain.

After a cg inspector who inspected the tank work testified. He declined to perform a full hull inspection as one was not required until 2015.

Next up was the director of Tallships America. He testified that walridge was competent, but he would not have sailed in those conditions.

Finallay a project manager from boothbay harbour shipyard testified. He stated and provided photos showing significant deterioration of hull frames and wet rotten and mouldy wood. O repairs were made and additional work would be done the next year. He advised walbridge not to sail in heavy weather. The bad areas were only 6 years old indicating a poorly executed repair at the booth bay yard.

Day 2 coverage via gCaptain

Day 3
The first witness of the day was an expert in measuring ships. he covered the issue of the Vessels tonnage certificate. Basically the rules for measuring the volume within the ship. with the staircase removed, the ship was over 300tons, and would require a load line certificate, which would require her to undergo a more stringant examination, and require all defcencies to be repaired. with the stair in place, the bounty was 266tons, and was clear.

 Day 3 also brought the testimony of the former Bothbay shipyard manager. He testified that there was damage, however he had seen much worse, and felt the repairs were sufficient. Having worked with woodenships fro the previous 40 years, he had been involved with the 2001 reft where thebellow waterline planking was replaced with oak, and the 2007 refit, where the above waterline planking was replaced with fir.

The Last witness of the Day was the bountys marine surveyor, and Naval architect. he testified that he designed the pump system, and survyed it, he was also friends with captain wallbridge, and they spoke frequently. He felt he was not in a conflict of interest. He was requested to perform a survey for the insurance company. He spent a day onboard, and did a cursory inspection, and testified he would need to do more, but it is unclear if he ever communicated this with anyone.

Day 3 Coverage at gCaptain

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Peter Ziobrowski

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