The vessel which is a replica of HMS Bounty today got caught up in Hurricane Sandy. The Canadian made vessel capsized off the coast of North Carolina and 14 of the 16 crew on board were rescued by the US coastguard. Two remain missing.
The original Bounty, a tall ship, had initially been called HM Armed Vessel Bounty. It was bought by the British Royal Navy for a planned botanical mission in the 18th Century and the rest, as they say. It became famous as the ship run by Captain Bligh whose crew mutinied. Mutiny on the Bounty moved from fact to fiction when at least two films were made.
This replica vessel was constructed in 1962 for the Hollywood blockbuster of Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando and Trevor Howard.
Late yesterday, October 28, the Bounty began taking in water. The crew fought hard to keep the vessel afloat. Early today the decision to abandon ship was made. A Coastguard spokesperson told the media that, "Our understanding is that as [the crew] were preparing to get into the life rafts the boat suddenly capsized on them." They had to swim clear of the boat and try to get in the life rafts from there."
The two missing crew members are thought to be wearing life saving survival suits. Although these will offer some protection from the elements an extended period of time in the water will leave them at the mercy of many hazards. The search for them continues till nightfall and if they are not found will begin again in the morning.
In recent times the replica Bounty had returned to the big screen appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean. It is now believed to be bobbing close to Hurricane Sandy as a virtual ghost ship or already be at the bottom of the Ocean. In 2012 the owners of the Bounty put it up for sale for $4.6 million.
October 30 update
One of the missing is the vessel's Captain, 63-year-old Robin Walbridge. At time of writing the search for him continues. The other person missing was a woman. She was rescued four hours after the Bounty was abandoned. Sadly she has since died.
She has been named as 42-year-old Claudene Christian. Waves around 18 foot high were lashing the Bounty when she began taking on water and floundering. The search and rescue mission was obviously hampered by the huge waves and strong winds.