Coast Guard Executes Dramatic Rescue of Bounty Crew
By SpaceCoastDaily // October 30, 2012
VIDEO OF THE DAY
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard executed a dramatic rescue of 14 survivors of the HMS Bounty from life rafts in the Atlantic Ocean about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras N.C. on Monday. The HMS Bounty is a replica 18th-century sailing vessel, made famous in Hollywood adventure films.
The Coast Guard used ships and airplanes to continue to search the Atlantic today for the captain of the HMS Bounty, which sunk in high winds and 18-foot waves during Hurricane Sandy. The searched has been hampered by 15-feet waves, but the water temperature was about 77 degrees.
The Coast Guard was optimistic Robin Walbridge, 63, of St. Petersburg, Fla., could still be alive in his blazing red survival suit 90 miles off the North Carolina coast. Wallbridge went overboard early Monday when the replica 18th-century sailing vessel, made famous in Hollywood adventure films, rolled over in 18-foot waves.
“There’s a lot of factors that go into survivability. Right now we’re going to continue to search. Right now we’re hopeful,” Coast Guard Capt. Joe Kelly told Fox News.
After the Coast Guard rescued 14 crew members of the Bounty by helicopter yesterday, they later found Claudene Christian, 42, unresponsive. She was later declared dead. The rest of the crew was in good condition.
The 14 surviors were flown to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., where they were met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel at approximately 10:15 a.m. with no life threatening injuries.
Crews aboard a C-130 Hercules and an MH-60 Jayhawk are searching for the two missing crew members. Crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Elm and the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin are en route to assist with the search.
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.
Lost Communication With Bounty’s Crew Late Sunday
Coast Guard Sector North Carolina initially received a call from the owner of the 180-foot, three mast tall ship, HMS 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 aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which later arrived on scene and established communications with the Bounty’s crew.
Watchstanders dispatched crews aboard two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. 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.
The 16 people donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies. The vessel was reportedly taking on water and without propulsion. On scene weather was reported to be 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas.