Irresponsible Gun Cannon Owner of the Day: Captain of the Amazing Grace

Avast ye swabs, the town of Dana Point, California held its 28th annual tall ships festival last weekend. As they like to say in the OC, it’s a chance to “explore the majesty and wonder of tall ships through the smells, sounds and sights of real working tall ships.” But the only real wonder after the weekend’s festivities (which included a mock sea battle) was that no one was killed . . .

Someone aboard the Amazing Grace forgot to load one of the ship’s long nines with the fake stuff. From

The festival included the ships firing blanks from cannons at each other, but somehow The Amazing Grace, a tall ship based in Gig Harbor, Wash., fired real buckshot at the vessel Bill of Rights.

The women onboard, identified as Bill of Rights deckhand Donna Reed and volunteer Laura Huber, were struck with multiple pellets and left with minor injuries. It’s not clear how the buckshot ended up getting loaded into the cannon.

It may not be clear to ABC, but explains how the mishap likely happened. Kinda.

The Amazing Grace and the Bill of Rights were using small “shotgun” cannons about the size of a small toolbox. Reed, a longtime tall-ship sailor, said the cannons’ blank charges, made by Winchester, look like common shotgun shells and that one could easily be mistaken for the other.

No word as to whether the Amazing Grace’s master gunner is to be keel hauled for the nearly mortal mixup. The two deckhands must be thanking their lucky stars the Grace’s guns weren’t launching grape shot or they could have found out what it’s like down in Davey Jones’s locker.

We don’t know if any grog was involved at all, but it’s the cap’n who’s responsible for everything aboard his ship, and we considered introducing him to a cat o’ nine tails. Instead, since the injuries were minor, we’ll be sending him our IGOTD trophy. We just hope the scurvy dog doesn’t fire that at a passing ship, too.


  1. avatar RIGHT! says:

    Words Fail Me

  2. avatar Alec says:

    I want a “shotgun cannon”.

    1. avatar Mashashin says:


      1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

        Need 6 of them please!!
        2 for the front, 2 for the back and one on each end!!!
        All on remote firing switches!!!!

    2. avatar Richard W. says:

      I know someone who actually has one. His son is a machinist and turned one down out of bronze. It has a screw on breach and a spring loaded firing pin. Takes 12g shells.

    3. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Go to, and buy yourself a Winchester cannon!

      1. avatar Alec says:

        How big is it?

        1. avatar IdahoPete says:

          Takes a 10ga black powder load, so it’s a kind of “coffee table cannon”.

    4. avatar RECOIL Magazine says:

      Sorry – no sporting purpose. Can’t have those things getting into civvies’ hands.

  3. avatar jwm says:

    Arrrh, the seafaring life has always been a hard life. Eyepatches and peglegs all around.

  4. avatar aaronw says:

    Indeed, we’re talking about California, so of course the Bill of Rights was out to sea…

  5. avatar RKflorida says:

    California attacking the Bill of Rights. Nothing new.

    1. avatar Parthenon says:

      haw haw haw haw

  6. avatar Felix says:

    I’m surprrrrised you didn’t save this one for Septemberrrrrrr 19th, matey.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Do you believe in premature posts Mr. Felix? WELL YOU’RE IN ONE!

    2. avatar Bob says:

      September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day.

      For those that be land lubbers:

      1. avatar LeftShooter says:

        “September 19th is Talk Like A Pirate Day.”

        9/19 is also my wedding anniversary–which explains a lot!

        1. avatar Greg Camp says:

          And 9mm Luger day perhaps?

  7. avatar IdahoPete says:

    Buckshot!? Where’s the grape and canister, matey? You call that a cannon? That ain’t no cannon!! THIS is a cannon! [Fires off his South Bend Replicas 6-pounder.]

  8. avatar Aharon says:

    Thankfully it wasn’t the Bill of Rights that shot the Amazing Grace.

  9. avatar Ralph says:

    Where was the Amazing Grace when the Costa Concordia went down?

  10. avatar Greg Camp says:

    Sharpshooters to the main top, treble shot the great guns, pass out the grog rations, and hold fast till they strike their colors, me mates.

  11. avatar scoolbubba says:

    I hope their shotgun cannons have smaller than 10 round magazines, and no shoulder things that go up, or else they can expect a visit from the law dogs!

  12. avatar Bob says:

    Aaarrrggh! Keel haul the lot a em.

  13. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    I thought the Mythbusters had this award all to themselves. They must be pissed.

  14. avatar GS650G says:

    Kalifornia probably requires a permit to load your ships cannon with projectiles, expect a visit from the law.

  15. avatar EthanB says:

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the Bill of Rights was under attack in California?

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