Sunday, June 23, 2024

Breaking Island News

USA: Hurricane Sandy Claims HMS Bounty Ship and Crew Among Casualties

The feared ‘superstorm’ swept through the Eastern Seaboard on Monday, causing untold destruction and loss of life, including for the crew of the famous replica tall ship.

Special report by Manuel Brinkschulte of China New Frontier LTD in collaboration with Private Island News

(HMS Bounty/Vladi Private Islands)

Last night, the tall ship HMS Bounty, a replica of the HMS Bounty from the 17th century, sunk in the heavy Hurricane Sandy seas of the U.S. eastern shores, sadly leaving a crew-member dead and the ship’s captain, Robin Walbridge, is missing at sea. The iconic ship had been built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty, which starred Marlon Brando as Lt. Christian Fletcher, the leader of the infamous 1789 mutiny. More recently, the beautifully-crafted replica had featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

There are two interesting facts we would like to share about the HMS Bounty and its replica: During the filming of the movie, Marlon Brando did not only fall in love with his film-partner, the beautiful Tahitian woman Tarit Teriipa, who he married in the same year, but with the people and islands of Tahiti as well. When he bought an archipelago of 12 islands in Tahiti, Tetiaroa, he set a trend and became one of the first of many Hollywood celebrities who own private islands today. His paradise isles are currently the site of a luxury eco-resort (link) slated to open soon, powered entirely by renewable energy and called “The Brando.”

(Marlon Brando's Tetiaroa/Vladi Private Islands)

Also of note is that the descendants of the real mutineers on the Bounty and their Fijian wives still live on a remote island in the Pacific. Today, Pitcairn is listed as the world’s least populous jurisdiction with a population of only 48 people. Despite its small size, however, the island gained infamy in 2004 when a large number of the descendants were charged with horrific child abuse. As the island is under the jurisdiction of the crown since 1838, a court-house and eventually a jail had to be built on the island to detain six men who were proven guilty. Now, the island is trying to revamp its image by offering exotic travel packages, including unusual weddings and honeymoons (link).

For the replica HMS Bounty, the ship’s unfortunate end came during a valiant attempt by its captain and crew to skirt the edges of Hurricane Sandy and make it safely to Florida. The ship had been undergoing maintenance in Boothbay Harbour, Maine, and had been off the North Carolina coast when it was hit by high winds and rough seas, causing it to take on water. Of the 16 crew members, 14 were rescued safely after they abandoned ship, but two – the ship’s captain and crewmember Claudene Christian – were lost after being washed out of their lifeboat by 5.5 metre seas.

(HMS Bounty at Singer Castle, NY/VPI Image)

Claudene, a direct descendant of original Bounty mutineer Fletcher Christian, was later found, but unfortunately it was too late, and Captain Walbridge remains missing but is wearing a survival suit that provides some hope. Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter issued a statement Monday about the tragedy. “The Bounty was a spectacular ship and a symbol of Lunenburg’s proud tradition of shipbuilding,” he said. “It is a sad loss for the community, but no ship is as important as the safety of its crew. I commend everyone involved for their swift action.”

Read more about this story: The Province

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