After the mutiny, Bligh and his loyal crewman were ordered into the ship’s launch and set adrift. What was the fate of William Bligh?
1. He was killed by the crew in the launch
2. He was able to reach land safely and eventually returned to England
3. He committed suicide right after the mutiny
4. He died in the attempt to reach land By all accounts
Bligh was a remarkable sailor and navigator. Upon being set adrift, he piloted the open launch (with 19 men in a 23 foot boat) to Tofua, in Tonga, about 30 nautical miles away. (One of the men was lost in Tofua, stoned to death by natives.) Bligh then set off for Timor. with just a sextant and a pocket watch to guide him, no compass or maps. Bligh navigated the voyage by memory. They made the trip in 48 days, a distance of 3,618 nautical miles. All the remaining men survived the journey. Many historians speak of Bligh’s accomplishment with great admiration. When Bligh returned to England in 1790, there was a court martial for the loss of his vessel, and he was “honorably acquitted”. Bligh would later publish accounts of his adventure, the first of hundreds of books, articles and movies written about the mutiny on the Bounty. Bligh has been portrayed as a cruel tyrant who mistreated his men. This seems to be an exaggeration, according to the ample information available on the Internet.