Bounty Rescue

Just another day at the office

Coast Guard Rescue of Bounty Crew

By now you are probably aware of the fate of the Bounty, the tall ship of Hollywood movie fame. It sunk in stormy seas off Cape Hatteras on Oct. 29, as hurricane Sandy bore down on the Northeast. In all, Coast Guard helicopters airlifted 14 crewmembers from two life rafts.

The first helicopter reached the scene around 6:30 a.m., about 90 minutes after the crew abandoned ship, and hoisted five people aboard. The second chopper plucked nine people from a second life raft. The rescue took place in winds of 40 mph. A helicopter pilot said the waves appeared to be 30 feet high during the rescue. 

By the time the first rescue helicopter arrived, all that was visible of the replica 18th-century sailing vessel was a strobe light atop the ship's submerged masts. The body of 42-year-old crew member Claudene Christian was found Monday evening. The search continues for the 63-year-old captain, Robin Walbridge captain of the Bounty for over 20 years. Prior to the Bounty, he served as first mate on the H.M.S. RoseBounty's sister ship. Christian and Walbridge reportedly were swept overboard when they got into lifeboats. Both were in cold-water survival suits and life jackets

The ship was originally built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando, and it was featured in several other films over the years, including one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. The ship was named for the British Royal Navy ship HMS Bounty where a mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against commanding officer Lieutenant William Bligh on 28 April 1789. Claudene Christian said in August she was Fletcher Christian's great-great-great-great-great granddaughter.

Every rescue entails hidden costs; not just in dollars, but in lives. In March of this year, four Coast Guard officers died while training for a mission similar to the one that saved the Bounty’s crew. In 2011, the Coast Guard responded to more than 22,000 search-and-rescue cases and saved more than 4,000 lives.

If you wish to comment on this video, please do so. Click on the link "Coast Guard Rescue of Bounty Crew". Your comments will be passed on to our friends at Coast Guard Station Travese City who have been protecting Traverse Bay boaters since 1945.

 

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