Coast Guard rescues 14 during Hurricane Sandy

HMS Bounty

File photo of HMS Bounty taken from

In the first major U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue operation associated with Hurricane Sandy, the Coast Guard has rescued 14 people from life rafts in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C.  The search continues for two people who remain missing from the crew of HMS Bounty.

The owner of the 180-foot, three-mast tall ship HMS Bounty, a replica of the original British transport vessel built for the 1962 film “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Marlon Brando, contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina after losing communication with the crew late Sunday evening. The 5th Coast Guard District command center in Portsmouth, Va., subsequently received a signal from the emergency distress position indicating radio beacon, or EPIRB, registered to the Bounty confirming the distress and position.

HMS Bounty lifeboat

A Coast Guard rescue swimmer approaches on of two lifeboats where the crew of HMS Bounty sought shelter after abandoning ship. Screenshot from U.S. Coast Guard video.

A Coast Guard search airplane was launched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City Sunday evening which established communication with the Bounty’s crew upon arriving on scene. The vessel was reportedly sinking in 18-foot seas accompanied by 40-mph winds.

By the time two Coast Guard rescue helicopters from Elizabeth City arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m., the 16 crew members had reportedly divided among two 25-man lifeboats and were wearing cold weather survival suits and life jackets. Air crews located and rescued 14 of the 16 crew members.

The HMS Bounty is reportedly sunk but the mast is still visible.

A Coast Guard search airplane and two rescue helicopters are currently on scene searching for the two remaining crew members with Coast Guard Cutters Elm and Gallatin en route to assist with the search.

Coast Guard assets are currently positioned to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. If you or a loved one encounter a maritime emergency, contact the Coast Guard on VHF radio channel 16 or local authorities by dialing 9-1-1.


HMS Bounty survivors on deck

Crew members from HMS Bounty arriving at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City. Screenshot from U.S. Coast Guard video.


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53 Responses

  1. Kenneth Bruce Carter Sr says:

    From a ex coast guardsman! Way to go guy’s.

  2. Amanda Lestina says:

    great job

  3. Tony Hahn says:

    Tremendous job by CGAS Elizabeth City – Congrats!

  4. Maureen Real says:


  5. LT S. M. Young says:

    Just wanted to provide a link to the latest update. One of the missing two crewmembers has been found by a crew from Air Station Elizabeth City:

    Very Respectfully,
    Lt. Stephanie Young
    Coast Guard Public Affairs

  6. Doug Higginbotham says:

    You guys do what matters!

  7. T.c. Sheridan says:

    , Va. — The Coast Guard recovered the body of a woman and continues to search for a man missing in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., M

    Recovered was:

    Claudene Christian, 42
    Missing is:

    Robin Walbridge, 63
    A crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., located Christian who was unresponsive, hoisted her into the helicopter and took her to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City.

  8. eustaquioag says:

    Muy muy grande US COAST GUARD. Congratulations US COAST GUARD

  9. Ted Fort says:

    Coast Guard is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Captain Keith Logan says:

    Bravo Zulu to CGAS Elizabeth City… Thank you for all you guys do us…

    Captain Keith Logan

  11. Daniela V.Böhi says:

    great this recue! …all the best of next times to the US-Coast Guard
    ( from Switzerland)

  12. Sharon Vieth New Bern NC says:

    Our son is a honored member of the elite!!! The United States Coast Guard. Thank you for keeping us safe!!!!

  13. Rick Bartlett says:

    Well done, fellas! You guys make it look easy.
    LCDR Rick Bartlett (Ret)
    HH-3F, HH-60J

  14. PS Heins says:

    Bravo Zulu to the Fixed-wing Crews, Helo Crews, and support presonnel at CGAS ECITY for locating and rescuing the crew of the S/V HMS Bounty during Hurricane Sandy.

  15. CG Proud Mom says:

    God bless you CGAS Elizabeth City. You guys are AWESOME! So proud to be a Coast Guard mom!

  16. Tara Broadway says:

    That is so sad. i loved that boat when it was at St. Pete

  17. Judy B. says:

    Thanks to the Coast Guard for all you do, especially your heroic efforts to rescue the crew of the HMS Bounty. You make a difference in this world. God Bless each and every one of you.

  18. Elaine De Felix says:

    …very, very special people – grateful for having Americans like you – truly a “cut above” the rest of us. Thank-you!

  19. Mysti Williams says:

    There are no words except thank you. Thank you for giving of yourselves so that others may live.

  20. Sweden says:

    Great work CGAS !

  21. Genevieve Chicka says:

    Speechless. I am rendered completely speechless at the amazing, awe-inspiring, speech-denying job that you guys do. I hope that a simple Thank You is enough.

  22. ed says:

    I am continually amazed by theU SCG. Such professionals. You are the best, and we are very lucky to have you. Stay safe.

  23. sandi weieneth says:

    God Bless the USCG. I am proud to be a parent of a Coastie.

  24. Anonymous says:

    God this reminds me of the 1991 Perfect Storm event…creepy. Well done guys!

  25. Proud Calif Coastie Mom says:

    Well Done, USCG! Condolences to Ms. Christian’s loved ones. When my only son (FS3 St. Pete) was chosen for CG 4 Julys ago, we took him to SF Fleet Wk on the Eagle and Bounty to celebrate. Again, well done and thanks to our brave Coast Guardians – Stay Safe!

  26. LPine says:

    Semper Paratus!! CG goes where no one else dares! Great job! from a CG daughter.

  27. Donna Urann says:

    Once again the USCG goes where no one else dares! Proud to say Mother of a Coastie of 15 years.

  28. Proud Army Wife says:

    Incredible job by all involved. God Bless the CG – in my opinion an underappreciated group of heroes.

  29. Barbara says:

    Is the search still active??

  30. Brian Lumley says:

    Good work, thank the gods for survival suits

  31. mowimbi says:

    The lady co-pilot is a lieutenant from Washington state and a Husky! Go Girl! Go Huskies!

  32. Joseph says:

    Bravo USCG!!! The loss of this ship could have been so much worse. The survivors are eternally grateful I’m sure. Great job.

  33. René aus Bremen says:

    Gute Arbeit – tolle Menschen!!!

  34. jorge morales says:

    very good!!

  35. Robert D. says:

    From a former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, my sincere admiration of the USCG crews who carried out this remarkable rescue of Bounty’s sailors. Condolences to the family of Claudene Christian, and we pray Capt. Walbridge will be found safe.

  36. cathy says:

    Having had a family sink on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean this was amazing footage for me to watch 35 years later. I’m impressed.

  37. Elaine Dell'Aringa says:

    Hat’s off to you !

  38. Shay says:

    Thank you *so* very much for making this daring rescue to save my friend and his shipmates. It was daunting and dangerous, and I greatly appreciate your courage and dedication.

  39. Jonathan says:

    To the USCG.
    It was more than 10 years ago, that you picked me up offshore Cape Hatteras in similar conditions, along with my 5 crew. I am emotional after watching this video, but not so that I cannot say thank you again. What others don’t see, is all the training that the crew did to make all that work; and all the support crew, behind them. And that you would not have that quality of rescue outside the US.
    3 of that 5 crew now are married and have children. I still sail and smile when I see a big fat white bird with a red stripe fly by. God bless.

  40. Gary Cundiff says:

    This former Marine would like to salute the men and women of the United States Coast Guard who put to sea and took to the air to pluck 14 souls from the North Atlantic and the jaws of death. I had the privledge to fly along on a few rescue missions in Afghanistan and know some of the challenges they must have faced. Their skill and courage was nothing less than magnificent,
    Semper Fi

  41. Gary Cundiff says:

    This former Marine would like to salute the men and women of the United States Coast Guard who put to sea and took to the sky to pluck 14 souls from the jaws of death in the North Atlantic. I had the privledge to fly along on a few rescue missions in Afghanistan and understand some of the challenges they faced. Their skill and courage was nothing less than magnificent.
    Semper Fi

  42. Lawrence Peters says:

    Bravo Zulu!
    LT Lawrence Peters (ret)

  43. John (MSgt, USAF Ret) says:

    I was impressed watching CNN’s silent clip of this rescue effort; but after watching this version with sound…I can only say, your efforts were exemplary, extraordinary, superb! Under such hazardous conditions and fighting elements of wind, rain, and surf as you do…nothing short of amazing! My hat’s off to the entire crew on that mission. Indeed, on EVERY mission of rescue you perform…a sincere WELL DONE to ALL of you in the USCG!!!

  44. AP Dufresne says:

    Thanks for all you do, my son-in-law is a Coastie with over twenty years of service and will retire soon. His ship is up north right now, will be home soon. I am a Navy Vet again thanks for all you do.

  45. F.Pegley says:

    I can’t say enough about the work that you do. Outstanding Job! The word hero is over used. We don’t wonder what a hero is when we watch you work.

  46. Danielle says:

    Thank you all for all that you do. In a couple of years I hope to be doing the smae thing! God Bless you all and stay safe!
    With Love and Prayers,

  47. says:

    As a WW2 CG aboard PA-37 USS Cavalier, thank you.
    Well Done

  48. Aldo Braida says:

    New Update:
    Coast Guard suspends search for missing captain of HMS Bounty

    are sorry for the loss of Claudene Christian, the Ship and their captain, who´s still on duty.
    Congratulations to the USCG for their bravery, courage, and tenacity

  49. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you for all that you do to save those in peril.

  50. L.Fain says:

    The Coast Guard is Awesome! SEMPER PARATUS!!

  51. Joel Kouyoumjian says:

    Well done.

  52. Bill Frost says:

    Former WPB Vietnam BM2 Coastie here! Just another day in the life of the Coast Guard. You have to go out but you don’t have to come back. Semper Paratus!

  53. Bob James says:

    Watching this made me very proud of our US Services with a special feeling for the Coast Guard. So skilled, trained, dedicated and brave. You are amazing. Thank-you for your hard work and for being there for our protection.

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