The famed movie ship HMS Bounty, the replica of the British navy sailing ship on which the storied mutiny of 1789 took place, was abandoned in heavy seas caused by Hurricane Sandy on Monday (Oct. 29), 90 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The ship was built for “Mutiny on the Bounty” (1962), starring Marlon Brando.
The ship, which had been used in many movies since then, had left Boothbay Harbor, Maine on Oct. 22, bound for St. Petersburg., Fla., where it is often moored in winter. The ship’s final voyage started before Sandy formed; when the storm came up, the crew contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and outlined plans to sail around the disturbance. But the storm’s unprecedented size, and the ship’s slow progress under sail, doomed the strategy to failure.
Fourteen members of the crew of 16 were rescued by the coast guard. Capt. Robin Walbridge, 63, and crew member Claudene Christian, 42, were reported missing; Ms. Christian, reportedly a descendant of Fletcher Christian, the original mutiny leader, was later found “unresponsive” in the sea. Capt. Walbridge was not found, despite more than 90 hours of searching.
Websites devoted to detailing the ship’s progress via GPS and webcam, at http://www.tallshipbounty.org, were taken down as the ship foundered.
The Bounty’s Facebook page reported the ship’s power failed at 6:30 Sunday evening; an order to abandon ship was given at 4:30 Monday morning. When last seen, the crew said the ship was still upright and intact, but it was believed to have gone down sometime after the crew’s rescue at 6:30 a.m.
The Bounty replica was commissioned by MGM Studios and built by Smith and Ruhland in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, for the film. It had since been used in a variety of films, including the second in the series of Pirates of the Caribbean, and Treasure Island (1990) with Charlton Heston. The ship was owned for a time by former America’s Cup yachtsman and television mogul Ted Turner.
The ship had been extensively refurbished in several years ago, and was used for training of tall ship sailors. See more here: http://www.sailtraining.org/membervessels/vessel.php?@=122. Its crew was comprised mostly of volunteers.
The ship had been put for sale in 2010 by its owners for $4.6 million, but no takers had been found.
October 29, 2012