Rescue of the Bounty is the harrowing story of the sinking and rescue of Bounty - the tall ship used in the classic 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty - which was caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy with 16 aboard.
On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail Bounty from New London, Connecticut, to St. Petersburg, Florida. Walbridge was well aware that a hurricane was forecast to travel north from the Caribbean toward the Eastern Seaboard. Yet the captain was determined to sail. As he explained to his crew of 15: A ship is always safer at sea than in port. He intended to sail around the hurricane and told the crew that anyone who did not want to come on the voyage could leave the ship - there would be no hard feelings. As fate would have it, no one took the captain up on his offer.
Four days into the voyage, Superstorm Sandy made an almost direct hit on Bounty. The vessel's failing pumps could not keep up with the incoming water. The ship began to lose power as it was beaten and rocked by hurricane winds that spanned 800 miles. A few hours later, in the dark of night, the ship suddenly overturned 90 miles off the North Carolina coast, in the "Graveyard of the Atlantic", sending the crew tumbling into an ocean filled with towering 30-foot waves. The Coast Guard then launched one of the most complex and massive rescues in its history, flying two Jayhawk helicopter crews into the hurricane and lowering rescue swimmers into the raging seas again and again, despite the danger to their own lives.
In the uproar heard across American media in the days following, a single question persisted: Why did the captain decide to sail?
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Much heavier focus on sailing than rescue
I read this book expected to hear mostly about the storm and the subsequent rescue, but the first 2/3 of the book was about the crew and their background and the ship's history. A little bit of this info is fine, however it felt incredibly dragged out. The section about the storm and rescue was fast paced and exciting to listen to, but I really had to force myself to listen to the first 2/3.
- Samuel Roda