Friday, November 02, 2012

HMS Bounty, built in Nova Scotia, casualty of Hurricane Sandy


Ten years ago, when visiting Australia, I spotted the HMS Bounty in Darling Harbour while traveling aboard Harbour City Ferries in Sydney. Sadly, the three-masted sailing ship went down off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012. 

Fourteen of the 16 crew members were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard, and Claudene Christian was eventually found. Christian, who claimed to be a descendant of HMS Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian, was pronounced dead after being rushed to the hospital. Captain Robert Walbridge remains missing and is presumed dead. 

A replica of the original HMS Bounty, the new Bounty was built at the Smith and Rhuland Shipyard in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1960. She was constructed for the 1962 MGM movie Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Marlon Brando. The ship was overhauled in 2006-2007 and returned to active service. She appeared in two Pirates of the Caribbean movies and during summers from 2007-2012, she was a regular at tall ship events in England, Europe, the US and Galapagos Islands. 

On the HMS Bounty Facebook page, notice of a relief fund has been posted. Former crew members are soliciting donations for the families of Claudene Christian and Capt. Robin Walbridge, along with the 14 surviving members of the crew. They may be sent via PayPal to HMSBounty2012@Yahoo.com.