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HMS Bounty sinks; St. Petersburg Captain Robin Walbridge missing

4:49 PM, Oct 30, 2012   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - For many years, the HMS Bounty sailed on calm Tampa Bay waters, but it was the winds and waves of Hurricane Sandy that took her down.

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 of 16 crew members early Monday morning off the coast of North Carolina. 

WATCH: Video of the Coast Guard rescue

Later, at about 6:20 p.m., the Coast Guard announced the recovery of one of the missing, 42-year-old Claudene Christian. They said she was unresponsive, and that they took her to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City, where she was pronounced dead. 

Would you like to help the survivors of the HMS Bounty?  You can donate to this Paypal account using this email: HMSBounty@yahoo.com

The captain of the Bounty, Robin Walbridge, is from St. Petersburg and CBC News quotes his wife, Claudia McCann, as saying her husband is among the missing. The Coast Guard also confirmed at 6:20 p.m. that Walbridge is in fact missing. 

Friends gathered at the couple's St. Petersburg home Monday, but a woman at the door declined to speak to 10 News.

Fred Harriman doesn't know any of the current crew, but as a former crew member, his heart hurts just the same. "I was one, they are one, we're all one-I hope they find the other two," he says, tearing up with emotion.

See Also: Former crewman's thoughts on HMS Bounty sinking

Harriman worked aboard the Bounty during the mid-1980's when it made St. Petersburg its winter home. And like many of its visitors, Harriman has fond memories. "There was something special about being on board a tall ship and riding along and spending the night aboard a tall ship," he says.

The Bounty was on its way from Connecticut to St. Petersburg when it sank. The ship was scheduled to give tours at the St. Petersburg Pier the weekend of November 10. Pier managers say such visits by the Bounty were always welcome.

"Absolutely, the sight, I mean she was beautiful and of course the history, being in the movies," says Pier G.M. Carol Everson.

The Bounty was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando and the ship was also featured in several other films.

Now it will be remembered for its final ill-fated voyage when it tried to outrun a hurricane and lost. 

Like so many others, Harriman can't help but wonder, "I don't know why, why is it out there? It's out there now."


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