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Tue October 30, 2012
VIDEO: Coast Guard Rescues 14 Forced By Sandy To Abandon Tall Ship
Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 2:49 pm
Monday's rescue of 14 sailors who were forced to abandon the tall ship HMS Bounty off the coast of North Carolina as then-Hurricane Sandy roared through was videotaped by the Coast Guard.
There's now some dramatic footage posted online.
Two other crew members apparently got separated from the others after abandoning ship and before they could get into a life raft.
One, 42-year-old shipmate Claudene Christian "was not breathing when rescuers pulled her from the water" and she later died, The Virginian-Pilot says. The other, 63-year-old ship Capt. Robin Walbridge, is still missing. Like the rest of the crew, Walbridge was wearing a survival suit designed to keep him warm and afloat.
The newspaper writes that, "Monday's rescue was harrowing. The Bounty lost propulsion late Sunday and its generator failed, causing it to take on water. ... Coast Guard rescue swimmer Daniel Todd plunged from the helicopter into the roiling waves and swam to the raft. For 45 minutes, he said, he battled the waves to send people up to the helicopter in a basket, one by one. 'It was like swimming in a washing machine,' he said."
As for the ship, which is presumed to be lost now, its website says:
"Built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando, HMS Bounty sails the country offering dockside tours in which one can learn about the history and details of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized time in maritime history. Since her debut in Mutiny on the Bounty, HMS Bounty has appeared in many documentaries and featured films such as the Edinburgh Trader in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest with Johnny Depp."
Update at 2:40 p.m. ET. About Claudene Christian:
Christian, as the Los Angeles Times writes, was a USC Song Girl at the University of Southern California in the 1990s. While still a student, she founded Cheerleader Doll Co., which produces dolls that schools can then sell in fundraisers.
On her Facebook page, Christian wrote:
"I live, work & Travel the Sea aboard the HMS Tall Ship Bounty. A Sailing Museum traveling from port to port sharing our ship and our history, we are a Replica Ship of the infamous story of "Mutiny on the Bounty" on Pitcairn Island. As a descendant of Fletcher Christian, played in four movies by Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Marlin Brando & Mel Gibson, I'm sure my ancestor would be proud... However this time, there will be no Mutiny on this Bounty... At least not at the hands of me, a new generation of Christian Family Sailors! This ship has been used in MANY Movies, including the 1962 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlin Brando & the two most recent Pirates of the Carribean movies starring Johnny Depp."
Update at 10:25 a.m. ET. More On The Rescue:
North Carolina's News & Observer has a well-written account of the Bounty's problems and the dramatic rescue.