Update On The HMS Bounty

hms bounty

Yesterday morning I posted a story about the HMS Bounty, a tall sailing ship that got caught up in Hurricane Sandy, forcing the crew to abandon ship. At the time, the crew was still waiting for rescue and the ship was taking on water, but still standing upright and floating on the surface of the ocean. In the hours that followed however, things went from bad to worse, leaving one crew member dead, the captain missing and the ship on the bottom of the ocean.

Apparently the ship set sail a few days ago with captain believing that he could sail around Sandy without too much difficulty. The storm was larger than expected however, and the boat was soon caught up in the maelstrom. Yesterday, the ship lost power and suffered engine failure, which caused the pumps to stop working. As the vessel took on more water, the crew deemed it best to take to the lifeboats and abandon ship. Most of them managed to scramble into the boats and wait for rescue. One crew member, Claudene Christian, was later found floating in the water and unresponsive. She was later declared dead by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The whereabouts of Robin Wallbridge, the ship’s captain, are unknown at this time and he is officially listed as missing. But the Coast Guard is continuing the search today. When the Bounty rolled in 18-foot waves yesterday, Wallbridge was tossed overboard and hasn’t been seen since. Considering the intensity of the storm however, it is possible that he was swept away, but is still alive in his emergency gear.

As for the Bounty itself, the ship was originally built for the 1962 Humphrey Bogart film Mutiny on the Bounty. Over the years it has been used in other films as well and played a roll in educating the public about the age of exploration when tall ships were used to map the world and open trade routes to distant lands. Now this version of the Bounty has been claimed by the ocean, another causality of Sandy. There is no word as to whether or not the owners will attempt to salvage her.

Kraig Becker