Sixteen people were onboard the replica of the HMS Bounty when Hurricane Sandy sunk the ship Monday afternoon in Portsmouth, VA (about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, NC). The Coast Guard reported that at the time of the dramatic rescue seen above, winds were at 40 mph and seas topped out at 18-feet.
Before the ship went down the crew donned orange life suits and scrambled into two lifeboats before being spotted by the Coast Guard, which began their search early Monday morning after losing communication with the vessel.
Fourteen people were saved although at the time of the video’s filming two were reported missing. The body of one missing crew member, Claudene Christian, was recovered on Monday night. Captain Robin Walbridge was still missing as of Tuesday afternoon. The Coast Guard was searching an area of 1,350 square nautical miles with a water temperature of around 66.2 degrees F.
Christian was a distant relative of original Bounty master’s mate Fletcher Christian, who is remembered in history books as the crew member that instigated the mutiny in 1789 and assumed command of the ship after the crew expelled Capt. William Bligh. Christian steered the ship toward Tahiti and was reportedly murdered by his fellow mutineers while living on the island in 1793, although the exact circumstances around his death are foggy.
This was the same HMS Bounty replica that was built for the 1962 film Mutiny On The Bounty, starring Marlon Brando. The ship was also featured in the Pirates of The Caribbean franchise.