Coast Guard to investigate sinking of tall ship during Hurricane Sandy

In this July 1, 2004 photo, HMS Bounty Capt. Robin Walbridge stands on the deck of the ship during tours in Sandusky, Ohio. The Coast Guard on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 said they are searching for the 63-year-old Walbridge, and crew member Claudene Christian, after the 18th-century sailing vessel went down off the North Carolina coast, and the crew had to abandon ship in the rough waters churned up by Hurricane Sandy. (AP Photo/The Sandusky Register, Jason Werling)
Robin Walbridge, the captain, stood on the Bounty’s deck in 2004.Jason Werling/Sandusky Register/AP

The Coast Guard will investigate the sinking of a tall ship with Massachusetts ties during Hurricane Sandy in October, which killed two people, officials announced today.

The Bounty, which called Fall River home from 1993 to 2001, was built for the 1962 movie “Mutiny on the Bounty.” It sank approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., on Oct. 29 while en route to St. Petersburg, Fla., from New London, Conn. Two of the ship’s 16 crew members drowned, the captain, Robin Walbridge, and crew member Claudene Christian.

The investigation “will examine the facts and circumstances relating to the sinking of the vessel” to “develop conclusions and recommendations to improve the safety and operations of similar vessels,” the Coast Guard said in a statement. The National Transportation Safety Board will assist in the investigation.

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Media mogul Ted Turner purchased the ship in 1986 and gave it to the Fall River Chamber of Commerce in 1993 to advance seamanship and sailing teaching efforts. The ship was sold in 2001 to its current owner, a New York businessman named Robert Hansen.

The three-masted ship had been featured in countless documentaries and movies, including “Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man’s Chest,” according to the ship’s website. The ship was a replica of a late 1700s British transport vessel.

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