hms bounty

Tall Ship Bounty Abandoned, Sinks in Heavy Seas off Hatteras, 1 Body Recovered, 1 Still Missing [UPDATE 3]

Rob Almeida
Total Views: 66
October 29, 2012

Update 3: The Coast Guard has reported that the body of a woman, identified as Ms. Claudene Christian, has been recovered.

A crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., located Christian who was unresponsive, hoisted her into the helicopter and took her to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City.

The search for the captain, Robin Walbridge, continues approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., Monday.

UPDATE 2: As of approximately 0845, the USCG reports the Bounty has sunk. [PHOTOS OF BOUNTY SINKING]

UPDATE 1: Rescuers at the United States Coast Guard swung into action this morning after receiving word that the crew of the 180-foot, three-masted tall ship, Bounty, abandoned ship approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, North Carolina.

The 16-person crew donned cold water survival suits and lifejackets before launching in two 25-person lifeboats.

US Coast Guard watchstanders dispatched a pair of MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to rescue the crew.

The first Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m. and hoisted five people into the aircraft, and a second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people.

WATCH: Coast Guard Crews Rescue 14 from Bounty [RESCUE VIDEO]

The 14 people are being flown to Air Station Elizabeth City where they will be met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft remains on scene and is searching for the two missing crewmembers and a third Jayhawk crew is en route to assist search and rescue efforts.

Initial report 

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina initially received a call from the owner of the Bounty saying she had lost communication with the vessel’s crew late Sunday evening.

The Coast Guard 5th District command center in Portsmouth subsequently received a signal from the emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the Bounty, confirming the distress and position.

An air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which later arrived on scene and reestablished communications with the Bounty’s crew.

The vessel was reportedly taking on water and was without propulsion.  On scene weather is reported to be 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas.

hms bounty 2
Image via Bounty’s Facebook page

For the last couple days the crew of the Bounty has been posting updates to their facebook page. Here’s the latest image along with a note from her captain below.

Image: Bounty’s Facebook.

Latest Communication from Captain Robin Walbridge. Sent (Saturday night).

Good evening Miss Tracie

I think we are going to be into this for several days, the weather looks like even after the eye goes by it will linger for a couple of days

We are just going to keep trying to go fast and squeeze by the storm and land as fast as we can.I am thinking that we will pass each other sometime Sunday night or Monday morning

All else is well

The following is a list of those who were rescued, and those who are still missing:

Rescued were:

  • Daniel Cleveland, 25
  • John Svendsen, 41
  • Matthew Sanders, 37
  • Adam Prokosh, 27
  • Douglas Faunt, 66
  • John Jones, 29
  • Drew Salapatek, 29
  • Joshua Scornavacchi, 25
  • Anna Sprague, 20
  • Mark Warner, 33
  • Christopher Barksdale, 56
  • Laura Groves, 28
  • Jessica Hewitt, 25
  • Jessica Black, 34


  • Claudene Christian, 42

Missing are:

  • Robin Walbridge, 63

The Bounty was built in Nova Scotia in 1960 specifically for the 1962 film, Mutiny on the Bounty, and has also been used in the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Dead Man’s Chest and At World’s End.  As of this year, the vessel has been offered up for sale at a price of $4.6 million.

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