U.S. Coast Guard crews rescued 14 people from life rafts and still are searching for the missing captain of the HMS Bounty, a replica 18-century sailing vessel made famous in Hollywood adventure films, including “Mutiny on the Bounty.” One crewmember was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead after the vessel rolled over in 18-foot waves from Hurricane Sandy. The rest of the crew was reported to be in good condition.
HMS Bounty Captain Robin Walbridge, 63, of St. Petersburg, Fla., was washed overboard early Monday. Coast Guard officials believed the captain could still be alive, but the search 90 miles off the North Carolina coast was hampered by 15-foot waves. The water was about 77 degrees, and the captain was wearing a survival suit. Rescue units searched a 1,300-square-mile area of the Atlantic through the night.
The Bounty set sail from Connecticut last week and headed for St. Petersburg. The captain believed they could navigate around the Category 1 hurricane. By Monday morning, though, the vessel’s engines failed and it was taking on water. The crew abandoned ship, and it sank in the massive waves.
At least 17 people have been reported dead and millions without power as Sandy continues to pummel the Northeast.