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APRIL 28, 1789: Mutineers led by Fletcher Christian seize control of the HMS Bounty and cast adrift Captain William Bligh. An experienced seaman who had served under Captain Cook, Bligh had hoped to raise his reputation by taking on the mission to transport breadfruit plants from Tahiti to Caribbean slave plantations. After an ill-fated attempt to round the perilous Cape Horn, Bounty arrived at Tahiti nearly a year later. Over five months Bligh’s crew would grow restless to escape his abusive command style, and shortly after setting sail again they struck. Christian, a longtime friend of Bligh, placed him and 18 loyal crew in a launch with meager supplies, and it was only thanks to Bligh’s expert seamanship that some survived the 3,600-mile journey to Timor. Bligh would return to England but was at sea again when several captured mutineers were tried and executed; his subsequent career would see much turmoil, and his reputation never recovered.