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HMS Bounty sinks, claims two lives

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The HMS Bounty, a replica of a 1787 three-mast ship used for historical tours, sank off the coast of North Carolina Oct. 29 as Hurricane Sandy made her way toward New York.

Two of her crew members, including Capt. Robin Walbridge, perished in the incident.

The Bounty was en route from Connecticut to Florida as the storm approached, but that didn’t stop the voyage. Capt. Wallbridge noted on the ship’s Facebook page that ships are safer at sea than in port. And it had endured similar storms before.

But the ship began taking on water off the coast of North Carolina on the night of Oct. 28, about 160 miles west of the eye. The 16-member crew decided to abandon ship the next morning.

It was reported that as the crew were preparing to get into life rafts, a giant wave hit the ship, pushing some crew into the water. Fourteen of them were able to swim to the life rafts. Two did not, Capt. Wallbridge and Deckhand Claudine Christian. Her body was recovered during the rescue. The body of Capt. Wallbridge has never been found.

First Mate John Svendsen made the call to abandon ship. He told ABC News that it was one of the toughest decisions he’d ever made. He credited Capt. Wallbridge’s endless drills and preparation for the 14 lives that were saved.

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