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Coast Guard Suspends Search for Capt. of Tall Ship Bounty, Lost at Sea

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(Image by tallshipbounty.org)
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Portsmouth, VA - On Nov. 1 the US Coast Guard suspended it's search for Robin Walbridge, 63, missing captain of the tall ship, Bounty, according to a USCG press release.

The 180-foot Bounty, a replica of the 18th century ship owned by the British Royal Navy, sank approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C.,  on Monday, Oct 29, during Hurricane Sandy.   14 of the crew of 16 were rescued by the Coast Guard.

Bounty Sinks during Hurricane Sandy off North Carolina
(Image by US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski)
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Crew member Claudene Christian, 42, and Captain Walbridge, had been washed overboard. Christian was found unresponsive, and later declared dead.

According to the release, Coast Guard crews searched more than 90 hours, covering approximately 12,000 overlapping square nautical miles in the Atlantic Ocean since the Bounty's crew abandoned ship Monday morning.

Bounty Sinks during Hurricane Sandy off North Carolina
(Image by US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski)
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The Bounty, built for the 1962 movie, "Mutiny on the Bounty,"  was slated to be burned at the end of filming, but Marlon Brando protested its destruction. Thanks to his intervention, the ship enjoyed another half century on the seas.

Mutiney on the Bounty poster
(Image by amazon.com/Mutiny-on-the-Bounty/dp/B004SILFPY/ref=atv_dvd_twister)
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Bounty has appeared in other films, including a role as the Edinburgh Trader in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest, starring Johnny Depp.

Henry van Dyke's poem, "Gone From My Sight" seems a fitting tribute in honor of Christian and Walbridge, who lived their passion for the sea.

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Gone From My Sight

I am standing on the seashore.
A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails
  to the morning breeze and starts for the
  blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
And I stand and watch her until at length
  she hangs like a speck of white cloud,
Just where the sky and sea come down
  to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says:
"There, She's gone!"
Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large
  in mast and hull and spar
As she was when she left my side,
And just as able to bear her load of living freight
  to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her;
And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
"There, She's gone,"
There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices
  ready to take up the glad shout,
"There She comes!"

Bounty (collaged image)
(Image by main image from http://tallshipbounty.org)
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A Relief Fund has been established by past crew members for donations to the families of Claudene Christian and Captain Robin Walbridge, along with the 14 surviving members of the crew, who lost everything in the tragic loss of the HMS Bounty.  Much Appreciated Donations can be sent via PayPal: HMSBounty2012@Yahoo.com

Related article:
Hurricane Sandy Sinks Tall Ship "Mutiny" Bounty, 1 Dead, 1 Missing
(Oct. 29, 2012)  at click here


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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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