The U.S. Coast Guard has opened an investigation into the sinking of the HMS Bounty. The three-masted tall ship became one of Superstorm Sandy’s first American casualties when its crew was forced to abandon ship early Monday morning.
The Coast Guard said it would “probe every aspect of the accident and will determine as closely as possible” what caused it, whether there is evidence of equipment failure or human error, and if it or any other government agency contributed to the confirmed death of one crew member and presumed death of the Bounty’s captain, who is missing.
The Bounty sent out a distress call Sunday night and began taking on water off the coast of North Carolina Monday morning amid high winds and waves caused by Sandy, whose eye was located 150 miles to the east at the time. Shortly thereafter the crew abandoned ship and boarded life rafts.