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The Loss of the HMS Bounty

posted Oct 30, 2012, 7:02 PM by Michael Basista
I woke up yesterday to the news in my Twitter feed that the USCG had responded to a distress call from the Tall Ship HMS Bounty. I initially held out hope that the crew would be safe and the ship wouldn't be lost. As further news came out it became clear that the ship was lost. To be honest I held out hope that the ship wouldn't sink longer than was realistic. The rule for ever abandoning ship is to step up into the life raft, and calling the Coast Guard for rescue is always a last resort. By about 3 pm the coast guard had released this video of the rescue. It was also then that I learned that not only had the ship been lost 2 of the crew were still missing. Since then the body of Claudene Christian was found, but the other, Captain Robin Walbridge, is still missing.
But let's back up. This Bounty was a replica of the original HMS Bounty and was built in 1962 for the movie Mutiny on the Bounty. Since that time she had been in numerous other movies including a role as the Black Pearl in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.  When they built her she was made longer by 1/3 to accommodate the film crews for the movies.  She also Joined in other Tall Ship events, and this is how I inadvertently came to photograph her. I was photographing OpSail 2012 in Norfolk, VA from aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Eagle and capturing photos for Spinsheet Magazine. After our ship had docked but before I disembarked I went to the stern of the Eagle to capture some shots of the parade of sail behind us, ( The Eagle led the parade so everyone else was behind us and still sailing after we had moored.) I was just trying to get some nice set up shots of the parade, maybe something that they could use to head an article with words over it.  I didn't think to search until today if the Bounty was one of the ships that sailed in front of my camera. It turns out that yes, in fact, she had. It's hardly anything on the grand scale of things, but I still feel like that by at least telling my story about the Bounty would help keep her memory alive even after she had sunk, and even more so, to try and commemorate the souls that were lost to Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina. 

Click on the photo to see it larger.