UPDATE: Coast Guard recovers body of missing HMS Bounty sailor, captain still missing

Posted at 1:55 AM, Oct 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-30 12:34:30-04

UPDATE: The Coast Guard confirms they have recovered the body of Claudene Christian who was one of two crew members missing from the HMS Bounty. The Captain of the ship remains missing.

Portsmouth, Va. - The Coast Guard rescued 14 people from life rafts and is searching for two more who remain missing off of Hatteras after abandoning the tall ship HMS Bounty in Hurricane Sandy's rough seas.

The 14 were flown to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., where they were met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel at approximately 10:15 a.m. with no life threatening injuries.

Oklahoma woman one of the missing crew from the HMS Bounty

Crews aboard a C-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter are searching for the two missing crewmembers. Crews aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Elm and the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin are en route to assist with the search.

Rescued were:

  • Daniel Cleveland, 25
  • John Svendsen, 41
  • Matthew Sanders, 37
  • Adam Prokosh, 27
  • Douglas Faunt, 66
  • John Jones, 29
  • Drew Salapatek, 29
  • Joshua Scornavacchi, 25
  • Anna Sprague, 20
  • Mark Warner, 33
  • Christopher Barksdale, 56
  • Laura Groves, 28
  • Jessica Hewitt, 25
  • Jessica Black, 34

Missing are:

  • Robin Walbridge, 63

The vessel is reportedly sunk, but the mast is still visible.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina initially received a call from the owner of the 180-foot, three mast tall ship, HMS Bounty, saying she had lost communication with the vessel's crew late Sunday evening.

The Coast Guard 5th District command center in Portsmouth subsequently received a signal from the emergency position indicating radio beacon registered to the Bounty, confirming the distress and position.

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An aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City launched aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which established communications with the Bounty's crew.

Watchstanders dispatched crews aboard two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

The first Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m. and hoisted five people into the aircraft, and a second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people.

The 16 people donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies.

The vessel was reportedly taking on water and without propulsion.  On scene weather was reported to be 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas.

The Bounty is a replica of the original HMS Bounty, and was built in 1960 for the MGM movie version of Mutiny on the Bounty, which starred Marlon Brando. The Bounty has appeared in many films and documentaries, including Treasure Island, Yellowbeard, Sponge Bob, Square Pants, the Movie, and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest.