Robin Walbridge, captain of the famed ship HMS Bounty, believed he could navigate Hurricane Sandy, and he set sail last week with that firm belief. Instead, the captain watched as rough seas claimed the life of a crew member.
In a message posted Sunday night via the vessel’s Facebook page Walbridge wrote:
“I think we are going to be into this for several days. We are just going to keep trying to go fast.”
Monday morning, the famed ship, which has appeared in various Hollywood movies, began to take on water and its engines failed.
Crew members were eventually forced to abandon ship, at which point one crew member was killed and Walbridge was reported missing.
The dead crew member was later identified as Claudene Christian. Claudene was pronounced dead after officials plucked her unresponsive, floating body from the water.
The rest of the HMS Bounty crew have been listed in good condition after being rescued by the US Coast Guard.
According to the US Coast Guard, the only part of the 18th-century sailing replica still visible above water was a strobe light atop the ship’s submerged masts.
Originally built for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, the ship eventually went on to be featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
When the ship left Connecticut on Thursday, there were 11 men and five women ranging from 20 to 66. Members of the crew admit they knew conditions would be treacherous when they set sail; they just didn’t realize how bad conditions would become as Hurricane Sandy worsened.
The HMS Bounty wasn’t alone in battling Hurricane Sandy’s hostile environment; a Disney Cruise Ship experienced a good deal of damage before returning to port.