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Federal safety panel examines tall ship's sinking

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BROCK VERGAKIS
Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH, VA (AP) -- The owner of a replica 18th-century sailing ship that sank off North Carolina during Hurricane Sandy has declined to testify at a hearing to examine what led to the sinking.

A federal safety panel began a hearing Tuesday into the sinking of the HMS Bounty, which had been built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty." Coast Guard officials say they were notified by an attorney for owner Robert Hansen that he was invoking his Fifth Amendment right to be protected from incriminating himself.

One member of the HMS Bounty's crew died and the captain was never found after the ship sank 90 miles off Cape Hatteras during the October storm.

Surviving crew members and representatives of the shipyard where the Bounty underwent repairs weeks before sinking were among those subpoenaed to testify.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Interesting

It's interesting that the owner was invoking his Fifth Amendment rights before any questions have been asked. I'm sure there are things he could add to the inquiry without incriminating himself.

And if questions remain, the actual workers at the shipyard should be questioned along with the representatives of the yard. The people that did the actual hands on repairs know much more about those repairs than the management. Were those repairs done properly and completely, or just enough to get by due to financial concerns? Was the ship dry docked? Those fees can be tremendous, was that a factor?

Or was it something completely different. Possible arrogance by the Captain? Did weathering hurricanes successfully in the past give him a false sense of security?

Hopefully, a complete picture will emerge, and all the questions will be answered.

My guess is the third

My guess is the third paragraph of your comment is pretty much why 2 lives were lost as well as a ship. Why would a prudent Captain deliberately sail into a hurricane and take unnecessary chances? Does not make much sense to me.

GV

He stated in a previous story that is what he did.
he made it sound almost routine:

http://www.wwaytv3.com/2012/11/02/bounty-captain-claimed-he-chased-hurri...

The loss of life on the Bounty was tragic, and preventable - but there are certain people who choose to lead "adventurous" lives - who like the sense of danger.......
I can't believe the ship's owner would not have known about this so invoking the 5th makes no sense.

I guess the Pirates of the Carribean movie series "needs a bigger boat".

Vog

HMS Bounty

This was such a sad and preventable tragedy. The Captain and the other crew member paid the highest price. Cant imagine how their family members feel.