Damning Testimony at the Bounty Hearing
The sea doesn’t care what you meant to do. It doesn’t ask what the reason was, let alone whether your reason rises to the level of an excuse. The sea doesn’t judge. The sea will meet you on whatever terms you set, for better or worse. From gCaptain:
The witness, Todd Kosakowski, looked at Coast Guard’s evidence # CG-41: a series of 29 photographs he had taken of Bounty during its most recent yard period. Mr. Kosakowski – the lead shipwright and project manager for Boothbay Harbor Shipyards – was in charge of the last maintenance project ever to be done on Bounty.
The pictures were of rotted frames and fasteners (trunnels) he found under the planking during repairs. Kosakowski told NTSB investigator Captain Rob Jones that he believes 75% of the framing above the waterline on Bounty may have been rotten, but that the ship’s representative in the yard, Captain Robin Walbridge, declined any further search for rotted wood. He convinced Kosakowski that they would make the repairs before their next Coast Guard hull inspection. The final witness of the day and the discussion of the evidence was stunning those of us in the crowd.
He had given the photos to the USCG Investigator back in December. That same Coast Guard investigator – Commander Kevin Carroll – was on the other side of the table today, asking questions.
Carroll: “And you had a conversation…did you tell Captain Walbridge?”
Carrol: ”What did he say?”
Kosakowski: “He was also concerned. I told him I thought that he had to pick and choose his weather… he said that he was terrified of what we had found.”
You can read the rest here, but it doesn’t get any better. By the reckoning of the last shipwright to work on Bounty and the head of the Tall Ships Association, Bounty should not have been at sea during Hurricane Sandy.