Skip to comments.Crew member rescued after abandoning ship dies (HMS Bounty sunk)
Posted on 10/30/2012 5:21:24 AM PDT by I still care
ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. The Coast Guard says a woman who was rescued in the Atlantic after abandoning ship in rough weather churned up by Hurricane Sandy has died.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert says 42-year-old Claudene Christian was unresponsive when she was pulled from the water Monday evening and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Fourteen other crew members were rescued from the HMS Bounty, a replica 18th-century sailing vessel that was originally built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" and was featured in several other films over the years.
The Coast Guard is still searching for the ship's captain.
The final hours of the HMS Bounty were as dramatic as the Hollywood adventure films she starred in, with the crew abandoning ship in life rafts as their stately craft slowly went down in the immense waves churned up by Hurricane Sandy off the North Carolina coast.
(Excerpt) Read more at t.news.msn.com ...
This is a horrid storm.
Thanks for posting. I visited her when she was berthed in Old San Juan last summer. What a loss.
Thanks for posting. I visited her when she was berthed in Old San Juan last summer. What a loss.
Very sad. I walked those decks years ago when the ship was on display at the St. Petersburg pier. We all wish they had laid to port.
Whose stupid idea was it to sail?
Claudene Christian with Bounty
Why were they sailing in this type of weather?
I wanna know WTF they were thinking with all the advance notice of the impending megastorm were they even out there?
It’s gonna be an interesting shipwreck for some divers some day when they find an 18th century tall ship with 21st century electronics onboard.
Any relation to Fletcher Christian?
They were here in St Augustine, Florida last year.
I’m glad the CG was able to save most of the crew, at least. As for the captain, who was probably the one who made the decision to sail in this weather, he’s missing. He had been her captain for many years, and I imagine he probably decided to go down with the ship.
It was foolish to sail into that storm. Hindsight brings wisdom.
From the article, a message from the crew....
“...Bounty’s current voyage is a calculated decision ... NOT AT ALL ... irresponsible or with a lack of foresight as some have suggested. The fact of the matter is ... A SHIP IS SAFER AT SEA THAN IN PORT!”
I’ve always heard that as well. But I have to admit it seems like it would apply more to the ship than to the crew.
I sailed out to meet her when she came into St. Augustine. Tragic story, and I’m not really sure what possessed the Captain to go out in that storm.
Apparently, she was also a direct descendent of Fletcher Christian
The article states that Bounty left a Connecticut port last Thursday. I wish it would have also included where the rescue occured. What route did the Captain choose? and how did the storm alter his planned escape route?
Part of the movie “Treasure Island” with Christian Bale and Charlton Heston - how I’ll remember her.
A ship may or may not be safer at sea, but the crew is definitely safer in the hotel bar . . .
I saw an article - the route seemed to run parallel to the NC Coast, and then was off course to the east for it’s final “blip”. I wish I could show you the map, but can’t find it now.
Yesterday they were saying the ship was still afloat but without a means of propulsion. Not sure if it actually “sank” yet.
Ships always go to sea when a storm is approaching. Most of the navy fleet left last thurs-fri.
Off the coast of NC
Bounty was well suited to weather the storm she faced. Square rigged wooden vessels endured high seas and winds for centuries. While many were lost, it was almost always a result of being driven on a lee shore and breaking up on the beach or on rocks. So long as she has water under her keel and maneuvering room, she should have been fine.
However, she wasn’t a truly historic vessel, she had a diesel engine and probably relied on her engine rather than sails to maneuver. I cannot tell from the picture, but it looks like she did not have any sail set (she would have staysails only and perhaps a foretopsail). I could make out a yardarm and it does not appear to even have sails bent. If she had no sails bent, then when her engine failed she was doomed. Her crew was inadequate to get sail aloft, man the pumps (did she even have chain pumps) and do other things that a square rigger must do to weather a storm.
I suspect that she lost her ability to steer, came athwart a wave, broached to, and shipped water through her hatches.
Most stupid thing in the world sailing that ship into those seas.
Many places he could have put in to.
Claudene was a USC Trojan Song Girl, and a sweet one at that. RIP.
That’s fine if you have a good crew. You can tie the ship to the dock with steel instead of rope. I don’t think we have enough people who can sail a ship like that in bad seas. It was a bad move.
Doesn’t matter what you tie a ship with, it will still get bashed against the pier and if the water level changes a lot, the the lines get too tight and cause a list that can result in taking on water.
I cannot see any good sensible excuse why they were out at sea off the coast of North Carolina during a hurricane that was tracking for a week or more
If she had driven up into a hurricane hole in the mangroves or canals of the coast, she could still be alive
an aircraft carrier or destroyer or heavy cargo ship is safer at sea, but this was a top heavy mockup of a square rigger wooden sailing ship, many of whose bones litter the graveyards of the Atlantic along our coast
“Pride of Baltimore” lost some years ago, though not from a forecast hurricane
Tragic miscalculation by the Captain, RIP
reliant on modern technology (electronic pumps) which failed
There are plenty of sheltered harbors on the north shore of Long Island she could have taken the lee of the storm in. Cold Spring and Hempstead harbors are two examples. Even if a suitable mooring was not available she could have anchored and motored against the wind. Perhaps she wasn’t outfitted for anchoring? She could still have motored upwind in a sheltered bay.
Not knowing the captain’s history or CG certificate, it is patently false to say a ship is better at sea. With the projected sea conditions and clear NWS and NOAA mariner’s warnings, the decision to go to sea may have been “calculated” based on something other than nautical facts and weather data. It will be interesting to learn where they were headed, because if it wasn’t South, hugging the coast..well.
In any case it is not true that a ship is safer at sea than in port (that phrase may have originated with ship’s captains trying to keep their sailors out of trouble in port).
To wit, from Navy Times— most of the major elements of the Naval Station Norfolk put to sea Friday 26 Oct.:
Read somewhere that she lost steering.
yes, I doubt that line was referring to weather
Thanks. I assumed that she had electric pumps, but there are of little use if power fails. What I do not know is if she had period chain pumps. These are hand pumps, but would have been a big problem with crew of only 16, people have to be relieved frequently when manning hand pumps and they may not have been able to stay ahead of the water.
I suspect that when she lost propulsion power, she turned parallel to the waves and was turned over on her beam ends. If the hatches were not tightly battened down, she would have shipped considerable water and may have become unmanageable. Looking closely at the picture of her foundered, the yardarms appear to be bare poles, no sails. I suspect that she left port with only lower masts and topmasts, no topgallant or royal masts and no square sails bent to the yardarms. Sad to see, not too many of these replica square riggers around.
In order to maintain steering, the ship must have headway. In square riggers, this is provided by staysails (triangular sails that run parallel to the long axis of the ship) and perhaps a foretopsail (a square sail on the forward mast that runs perpendicular to the long axis of the ship). However, the picture appears to show bare poles, i.e. the sails were not fixed to the yardarms. If true, that means that they were relying entirely on diesel engine power to keep her underway and power the pumps. Once they lost that, they couldn't keep the bow pointed into the waves.
Let’s not compare a square-rigged sailing ship with modern naval vessels, shall we?
Three thousand years of experience are engraved on the sailor’s heart: any port in a storm. Is anyone seriously arguing that the prudent mariner of a sailing vessel in storm conditions, within sight of harbor, will say to himself “No thanks; we’ll just loiter out here”. It is too ridiculous for words.
Large modern vessels can be sent to sea because their keel dimensions allow them to wide out practically any wave in relative stability. In harbor during a storm, vessels like aircraft carriers or large crude carriers risk being driven onto a lee shore and stranded without hope of recovery. A vessel of the Bounty’s size could easily recover from a beaching.
I do not presume to match my nautical skill with that of the Bounty’s (Late? RIP) master, but will only say that I don’t understand why he risked his vessel and all the souls aboard as he did.
Ship sank 90 miles SE of Cape Hatteras, NC. Capt. ordered abandon ship at 4:30 AM.
More than a thousand ships have sunk off this coast since records began in 1526. Most were trying to clear Hatteras. Currents and shoals constantly shifting.
This list even includes a German WWII UBoat with an enigma code machine that has been recovered.
A very good website about the Graveyard of the Atlantic- the Outer Banks: http://www.sunkenshipsouterbanks.com/
And the NC Maritime Museum: http://www.graveyardoftheatlantic.com/index.htm
I think you paint a persuasive scenario. However, Bounty’s master, knowing that his crew was incapable of managing the vessel under storm conditions, especially if diesel power were to be lost, made a foolhardy and unseamanlike decision not to seek safe harbor. Running under bare poles in extreme conditions, he gambled his ship and crew on the expectation of not losing power. I am very sorry for this loss, and do not understand, given the abundant advance warnings, why a more prudent course was not taken.
Well then, I guess someone just wanted this to happen and sent the ship out in a storm.
Two souls and a great ship lost, RIP.
This reminds me of the sinking of Windjammer’s Fantome, which perished in 1998 in Hurricane Mitch, taking down 31 crew members with her. http://www.fortogden.com/fantommiamiherald.html
Wow. What a story.
It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it.
Canadian article on the sinking with a lot more detail:
Here is Claudene Christian’s Linked In Page:
And her self started business in cheerleader dolls— she was an entrepreneur and risk taker. A real go getter and it is a tragedy:
This was interesting. It showed that Ted Turner actually owned the ship for about 10 years in the late 80’s early 90’s. Perhaps that why he was open to the Heston’s desire to remake an authentic version of “Treasure Island”.
They keep talking about POTC “Dead Man’s Chest” (an awful movie, even if you liked the franchise but Treasure Island (1990) IMHO is one of the great sea movies of all time, mostly ignored by the MSM. Oliver Reed, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee (a terrifying Blind Pew) Christian Bale. I posted a small excerpt previously on this thread.
Square-rigged, three-masted ship
1960: built by Smith and Rhuland of Lunenburg
1960: launched from Lunenburg
1962: appears in 1962 Marlon Brando film Mutiny on the Bounty
1986: media mogul Ted Turner buys the ship
1993: Turner donates it to the Fall River Chamber of Commerce in Fall River, Mass.
2001: sold to Long Island businessman Robert Hansen
2001: ship takes on water, begins to sink at its berth in Fall River, Mass.
2001: Long Island-based HMS Bounty Organization buys the ship to use it for educational programs
2006: appears in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
2006-07: ship undergoes extensive renovations
2010: ship reportedly listed for sale for more than US$4 million
Click here for more information on HMS Bounty and the original HMAV Bounty, commissioned in 1787.
I agree, doesn’t make sense to me.
Yes, very heartbreaking.
I spent a week on her in 1990, and it was incredible. In her early years, someone had remarked “she sailed with amazing grace.”
That set a tradition. Every evening as the crew prepared to set sail, they would blast Amazing Grace over the sound system — the bagpipe version, followed by other versions (Judy Collins, etc). One by one, the sails caught wind, making that “whoop” sound, and she would start to move slowly, picking up more and more speed until all of the sails were up.
As all of this went on, I would see people on other small sailboats anchored nearby with their mouths wide open. I still get chills thinking about it.
To this day, every time I hear “Amazing Grace,” I think of the Fantome and her crew.
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