News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 1, 2012
HMS Bounty, recently docked in Castine harbor, claimed by hurricane

The HMS Bounty

The HMS Bounty, pictured here docked in Castine on September 17, sank off the North Carolina coast during Hurricane Sandy on October 29.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Anne Berleant

The HMS Bounty sank on Monday, October 29, about 90 miles off the North Carolina coast, a casualty of Hurricane Sandy. But less than two months ago, the famous ship paid a visit to Castine, docking at the harbor on September 12 and 13 and opening its deck up for tours by community members and students.

Messages posted by Castine Visitors, Maine Maritime Academy and some community members expressed concern over the ship as reports filtered in on its predicament.

“The boat has sunk off the NC Coast, Captain still missing. Please keep them in your prayers,” posted Castine Visitors late Monday, October 29.

Reports from the ship’s owner, Bob Hansen, tell a story of a vessel caught in 18-foot seas as it tried to head east, away from the hurricane. Bounty began taking on water, and when power was lost to the main engine and generators, the pumps were not able to function.

Fourteen of the 16 crew members on board the Bounty scrambled onto life rafts early Monday morning and were rescued by Coast Guard helicopters. One crew member was found dead and longtime captain Robin Walbridge was still missing as of press time.

A replica of the original 1789 ship which was the basis for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty—for which the HMS Bounty was built—the ship also appeared in the film Pirates of the Caribbean.