Subsequently to almost every testimony, Commander Kevin Carroll inquired what recommandations you would state to avoid or to reduce the risk of a similar incident to happen in the future.
So in your professional view, what would be your own recommandations …
-Any wooden hulled vessel privately owned, and not privately used, such as the Bounty (dockside attraction for $$) must be inspected, or if not, must apply for a passage permit from the USCG to move. This would prevent a vessel such as the Bounty from being able to put to sea in a hurricane.
-Crew for vessels such as these must be experienced in tall ship operations - establish and require a minimum training matrix with experienced personnel (apprenticeship) Get rid of the wide-eyed “adventure seekers”
-All licensed officers must be just that, and have the proper sail endorsement from the USCG- along with training stated above for tall ships
-Insurance underwriters must be harder on inspections, and quicker to revoke insurance for improper maintenance.
The problem on the BOUNTY was the same as the problem in most car wrecks —human factors — the “eccentric nut” behind the wheel came loose.
How are you going to regulate that? Give everyone an annual psych exam? Then who would vet the really crazy people that are in the business of giving psych exams?
We need to have a little perspective here. More people die in gun accidents, car accidents, and from medical malpractice everyday than died on BOUNTY. Let’s solve those much bigger safety problems first before we move on to relatively infrequent boating accidents.
We have enough USCG regulations. The country does not need, and cannot afford, any new government inspection or licensing programs for privately owned pleasure boats — tall ships or otherwise.
Just let the courts make the BOUNTY owner and his insurance carrier pay appropriate damages for their negligence to the injured parties. That will be regulation enough.
Put them all in a small lake or other protected waters. Then turn them into dockside attraction/bars. This way they can all still wear their silly costumes and impress the ladies with sea stories. They could put two on opposite sides of the pond from each other. Then mount them on underwater railways and they can have pretend battles all day like at Disney World. Which is perfect seeing as how they are all Mickey Mouse anyways.