Insurer Sues Owners of HMS Bounty Replica

Says sunken ship was "unseaworthy," wants $5.1 million

The captain of the HMS Bounty steered the craft into the eye of Hurricane Sandy, which had been forecast for days. (Wikimedia Commons)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons ship vessel sailboat rescue submerge sunk sank Atlantic Ocean USCG U.S. Coast Guard Coast Guard Air Station Elizabe NC N.C. North Carolina Hatteras save Hurricane Sandy

Just over two years after a replica of the infamous HMS Bounty sank during Hurricane Sandy, an insurance company that paid out $5.1 million for the loss is suing the ship’s owner, HMS Bounty Organization, to get that money back.

The Courthouse News Service reports that Acadia Insurance Company has filed a 41-page complaint alleging that HMS Bounty Organization lied about the ship’s seaworthiness. The complaint states that in November 2010, the American Bureau of Shipping found 19 deficiencies in the boat, which was built in 1960 for the film Mutiny on the Bounty, but the HMS Bounty Organization failed to address them in order to save money.

Bounty’s sinking was not a fortuitous, covered loss, but was a direct result of defendant’s reckless acts which directly caused the deaths of two people and injuries to others,” the complaint states.

The mother of Claudene Christian, a crewmember who drowned during the sinking, sued the HMS Bounty Organization for $90 million in May 2013. Christian’s complaint also said the ship was unseaworthy and that its deceased captain, Robin Walbridge, had been negligent in sailing it into hurricane conditions. A Coast Guard report on the incident, released in June 2014, placed all blamed on the HMS Bounty Organization and Walbridge, saying that “the most critical [cause] was the failure of the Bounty’s management and master to exercise effective oversight and risk management in the overall operation of the Bounty.”

You can read Outside magazine’s April 2013 feature story on the sinking of the Bounty here.

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