HMS Bounty captain missing at sea, one rescued crewmember has died

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Submitted: Tue, 10/30/2012 - 3:43am
Updated: Fri, 11/09/2012 - 2:25pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The captain of the HMS Bounty is still missing after 16-crew members abandoned ship Sunday night. 14 survivors were rescued.

Claudine Christian, 42, was the 15th crewmember rescued Monday after the HMS Bounty sunk off the coast of the Outer Banks. Christian was found unresponsive and later died according to the Bounty’s website.

The ship is a replica of the original Bounty and has been featured in movies, including “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It visited Wilmington earlier this year.

The famous replica ship had left Connecticut last week for Florida. As Hurricane Sandy began its path up the East Coast, the Bounty was still out at sea and reportedly tried to go around the storm. But Sunday night, the Coast Guard received a call from the ship’s owner saying the Bounty was rapidly taking on water with no power.

The Bounty’s website says the 63-year-old captain, Robin Walbridge ordered all 15 other crewmembers to abandon ship, using life rafts and cold-water survival suits. Early Monday, about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, the Coast Guard rescued 14. Coast guard swimmers dove into 30-foot waves and survivors were hoisted from the ocean in baskets.

During a phone interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Operational Commander for the Atlantic Area, said the Coast Guard got a call from the owner of the Bounty around 9:45 p.m. that the ship was taking on two feet of water per hour off the Outer Banks. He said the crew abandoned ship into canopied, rubber life rafts with about 10 feet of water on board. The Coast Guard said the crew was wearing cold-water survival suits.

Parker said two H-60 helicopters hoisted survivors from the rafts. One helicopter brought on nine crew members. The other brought on five survivors. The Coast Guard says two crew members are adrift at sea.

“We certainly hope for the best, but we’re preparing for the worst,” Vice Adm. Parker said.

“This is something we train for everyday,” Coast Guard Lt. Jenny Fields said. “I mean obviously these conditions expand upon that training quite significantly.”

The survivors were ferried back to land in two Coast Guard helicopters, grateful to be alive.

“As more got into the chopper and they start being able to see their friends and realize that this very dark time was over- they were cheering, hugging, excited– so that pat makes you feel good at the end of the day,” Lt. Fields said.

Hours later, Christian was rescued, but as day turned into night it is their captain that still remains lost at sea.


  • ChefnSurf says:

    ….. as Stupid posts.

    You obviously know less than nothing about the sea, sailing, the Coast Guard’s primary mission of saving lives or honor for that matter. Only a full blown a-hole would suggest that those people should have been left in the ocean to perish.

    I would have to guess, that with your warped perspective, firemen and police officers should also not respond to emergencies for fear of being harmed. Then again, probably not, because that’s something that you personally might need someday unlike the Coast Guard.

  • Dude1 says:

    I guess these idiots wanted a movie made about them by setting sail in a hurricane (like the perfect storm). Da, how stupid can you get, and the Coast Guard should have left them out there instead of risking Coast Guard lives to save them. Fire the captain and bill the owner for costing the taxpayers money. Another one chalked up for graveyard of the Atlantic.

  • GuestUSMC says:

    Not to mention the clowns don’t even know how many are aboard.

  • Guest461 says:

    You should be ashamed of yourself for such a cold-earted comment! There is the possibilty of lost souls with this incident. You should never, ever wish bad on those that have an unfortunate circumstance with the sea.

    Look, just go back to your crack pipe and inhale a few extra doses. You need it badly. Having you comatose is an advantage!

  • taxpayer says:

    You’re an idiot.

  • Mozmom says:

    As a mother of a Tall Ship Sailor, I find your assumptions those of a 10 yr. old.If you knew anything about sailing, skill, and the seriousness that these hard working teachers & crew share, you would not be so careless to say the would put other lives in danger. they learn 1)SHIP 2) Shipmates 3)Guests 4) YOURSELF…And why would a Captain ruin his career and reputation..This is not a high paying Job..

  • Mitchell says:

    ^^^^ not a sailor?

    Square rigged boats are built for high winds. It was a mechanical failure, ding bat. Those boats are safer at sea than banging against a piling 10 feet from shore. That boats has been through many a hurricane before this one. “Another one chaulked up for graveyard of the Atlantic?” AGAIN, not a sailor, as most wrecks happen within 10 miles of shore.

    You want to talk about “costing the taxpayers money?” Let us talk about how many motor boats have run out of gas only to call mayday to the Coast Guard.

    And to the Coast Guard, thank you :)

  • OtherGuest says:

    So if we are going to make judgements about when the Coast Guard should respond, why not just disband the Coast Guard and save all that money?

  • Mac says:

    You’re an idiot! These ships go from event to event showing the technology of an older period! This is a business and they transite from place to place as a result of that business. These are sailors and people you are speaking of! Have some respect. This is no different from the tankers and container ships that supply your daily needs. It is a shame that there are some sailors that may be unaccounted for.

  • Sarah says:

    According to the ship’s own website 17/17 crew have been accounted for and are in life boats or have already been lifted out… the ship is STILL AFLOAT… who to believe??

  • GuestCY says:

    Did you seriously just say disband the Coast Guard & save money? What an ignorant statement. The US Coast Guard is JUST as important to our National Security as the other 4 branches of the US Armed Forces. Think before speaking.

  • Guest1966 says:

    Umm, I’m pretty sure they count the national guard too, so that would make 6 branches of service, talk about dumb! Where you been, the Oaks?

  • taxpayer says:

    “C’mon man whose is the idiot now.”

    I would say the overwhelming concensus of opinion is…wait…wait…
    you are!

  • Guest461 says:

    Great going there braniac! You’ve just won THE prize for the most idiotic and insensitive post of the year (not to mention, just plain out stupid!)!

    You will be very, very safe when the Zombies come! They don’t eat brainless sh**heads!

  • Guest CommonTater says:


  • Grand Ole Party says:

    You are the idiot. Not half an idiot, but a full blown moron.

  • Guest 10101 says:

    If you had the brains an idiot has you’d be twins. Of course, you’re still an insensitive fool.

    Do yourself a favor and stop posting about things you obviously have no knowledge about. You’re just making yourself look bad.

    Here’s a thought: Post something about what you DO know about water and floating objects. You know, something about you and your rubber ducky perhaps.

  • Mojo says:

    I agree. And this position is affirmed by the disastrous results. ‘Hope everyone makes it out alright, but these guys were idiots to set sail into a storm that was warned about well in advance. Set sail in a wooden ship with sails no less.

  • Dude1 says:

    I am not the one floating around in a life raft, so who is the idiot now. Most commercial ships avoid storms like this not sail into them. This ship was on its way to do a show in Florida when it should of been docked in a river somewhere. C’mon man whose is the idiot now.

  • symone says:

    The truth is that these sailors knew what they were getting into and chose to put themselves in harms way. Their decision has cost lives. The coast guard should not be expected to put themselves in harms way for people who were warned ahead of time. Just like the people who chose to stay behind when asked to evacuate. You are on your own! Don’t expect someone to try to rescue you because of your own stupidity.

  • William E Halpin says:

    FYI the primary mission of the Coast Guard is Law Enforcement while Search & Rescue is amoung the many other duties these professional men and women perform.

  • Dude1 says:

    Lee me see, I am going to get on a sailboat and go from point A to point B in the ocean with a Hurricane in between. Did they stop by Washington and get some politicians to run the boat!!! Sounds like it, or maybe the captain is related to Mayor Saffo.

  • Mojo says:

    You’re so wrong. No one suggests they are wrong for performing their business… but one needs to make intelligent decisions when lives as well as their livelihoods are on the line. They clearly should not have set sail. The entire Norfolk-based U.S. Atlantic Fleet scrambled out of the way of this storm. Commercial airlines as well as air cargo carriers make business off flying people and things around the world, but they check the weather before they go anywhere. Hence flights getting cancelled into and out of the northeast right now.

  • Guest Eddie P. says:

    Why anyone would dignify rudeness with a response is beyond me. Let them wallow in their ignorance alone. Ignore that troll.

  • RSimmons says:

    The Bounty was due in its winter home of St Petersburg Fla for a show and tour on Nov.11 and 12. The ship was in New London Ct last week. No good reason to sail south in the storm. The ship only had a draft of about 14′ and could have waited out the storm in any number of protected harbors and “storm holes” in New England and still make it under power to St Pete by the 11th (about 10 days at 6 knots)

    Had the Bounty survived the voyage through the hurricane it’s fame and marketability would have certainly increased.

    The owner of the Bounty have been trying to sell her since 2010. recently re-listed with a broker

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