Marine Accident Brief

Sinking of Tall Ship Bounty

Atlantic Ocean
About 110 nautical miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina
October 29, 2012

NTSB Number: MAB-14-03
Adopted: February 6, 2014
PDF

Accident Summary

On October 29, 2012, the tall ship Bounty sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, while attempting to transit through the forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy. Three of the 16 people on board were seriously injured, one crewmember died, and the captain was never found. The vessel's estimated value was $4 million.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the sinking of tall ship Bounty was the captain's reckless decision to sail the vessel into the well forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy, which subjected the aging vessel and the inexperienced crew to conditions from which the vessel could not recover. Contributing to the sinking was the lack of effective safety oversight by the vessel organization.