Hurricane Sandy Sinks HMS Bounty - 14 Rescued, 2 Missing at Sea

The HMS Bounty, a three masted sailing ship which was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty starring Marlon Brando and more recently was featured in one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, sank in the Atlantic after encountering high winds and heavy seas brought by Hurricane Sandy.

The ship was reportedly sailing from Connecticut to St. Petersburg, Florida when it began taking on water and lost propulsion last night. 

According to the HMS Bounty Organization's website, the ship's position was off the coast of North HMS Bounty - Sank - Hurricane SandyCarolina, at N 34°22' W 074°15'. 

There were 16 people aboard the ship including crew as well as passengers.

Last night, the Coast Guard dispatched a C-130 aircraft to the area. This morning two Coast Guard helicopters arrived and hoisted 14 people who had abandoned ship and were in 25-foot lifeboats. Two individuals are missing.

The news accounts raise the question why the ship was sailing given the advance warnings of the storm.

The situation reminds me of the loss of the Windjammer Fantome, a tall masted ship which sank in 1998 during Hurricane Mitch.

October 29, 2012 Update:  ABC News is reporting that the two individuals lost at sea went overboard when they were attempting to transfer to lifeboats. "What we know is that the whole crew was getting ready to board the life rafts, and as they were about to board, three people ended up on the water. One was able to get out [of the water] and get into rafts, and the other two are still unaccounted," Lt. Junior Grade Brendan Selerno told ABCNews.com.

The survivors were taken to Air Station Elizabeth City in North Carolina. Two people were admitted to the hospital, one with a broken arm and another with an injured back.

Other news sources are reporting that one of two missing crewmembers, 42-year-old Claudene Christian, was found this evening but she was npn-responsive.  The 63-year-old captain, Robin Walbridge, remains missing.

A video of the Coast Guard rescue is below.  it is dramatic; you can hear one of the crew say the "raft flipped 2 PIW" (two people in water).

October 31, 2012 Update: The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search for the captain and is hopeful that he may still alive in his survival gear.

 

Cruise Ship Sinks in Volga River in Russia - Up to 100 Feared Dead

Sinking of Bulgaria Cruise Ship - Volga River - RussiaNumerous news sources are reporting that a cruise ship carrying 173 passengers and crew sank in Russia's Volga river today. 

The sinking involved the Bulgaria cruise ship, which had 140 passengers and 33 crewmembers aboard.

To date, there have been reports of two confirmed dead bodies recovered and 96 people unaccounted for after the Bulgaria sank at 1358 local time (0858 GMT) in the Tatarstan region, 500 miles east of Moscow. 

A helicopter and two rescue vessels are reportedly at the scene of the sinking.

According to the Mail Online, the Bulgaria sank near the village of Syukeevo in the Kansko-Ustinovsky district near the region's capital, Kazan. The Bulgaria belongs to a local tourism company and was on its way from the town of Bulgar to the regional capital, Kazan.

The ship was built in 1955 in Czechoslovakia.

 July 9, 2011 Update

Russian authorities initiated a criminal investigation into the river sinking, according to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.  This Russian website identified the operator of the river cruise as  "Argo Rech Tours."  

There are conflicting accounts of the number of people missing.  The Russian website states that 169 people have been rescued, although most news accounts state that there are 80 -100 still missing. 

Bulgaria Cruise Ship - Volga River Sinking- Russia

July 10, 2011 Update:

Russian website has heart wrenching photographs of the survivors.  Updated information from Russia regarding the recovery efforts can be located here.

July 11, 2011 Update The Rianovisti newspaper in Russia reports that although the Russian Transport Ministry stated that the vessel had passed a regular "technical inspection" on June 15th and was certified for further use, investigators discovered that the ship "had a list to starboard and its engine was broken" when it left port.  It was "heavily overloaded with passengers."  There now appears to have been 196 people on the cruise ship.  Only 79 were rescued.  The video below depicts disturbing images of some of the deceased passengers.


 

Photo credits: 

Top:  Survivors of Bulgaria sinking - Rianovisti newspaper

Bottom:  AFP, Mikhail Mozzhukin 

Video credit:  The Guardian newspaper

48 Students Rescued On The High Seas After Concordia "Class Afloat" Ship Sinks

Concordia Sailing Ship - Sinking - Students Rescued48 students aboard the S/Y Concordia found themselves in lifeboats bobbing in the Atlantic for two days after their sailing yacht sank 550 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the students, mostly Canadian high school and first year college students with some Americans, were part of a Canadian "Class Afloat" program aboard the  Concordia "tall ship."  Class Afloat provides high school and university students an opportunity to study while at sea. 

The three-masted vessel capsized in strong winds on Wednesday, leaving the passengers and crew stranded in the Atlantic, clinging to life rafts for two days. 

There remains an issue why it took so long for rescue vessels to arrive.  The newspaper reports that a distress signal went out about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday - but it was not until 5 p.m. on Thursday before the Brazilian airforce spotted the life boats.  The rescue was not complete until Friday morning.

The Concordia is registered in Barbados, which is the country now responsible for the investigation.

Concordia - Sinking The newspaper reports that all of the rescued kids donned black baseball caps stitched with "F42" referring to the naval vessel which delivered them safely to shore in Brazil.

After learning that all of the students and crew were rescued, the president of the school rightly announced:

"We've lived through a miracle at sea."

 

Credits:

Rescued students             The Associated Press (via The Telegram)

Concordia sailing yacht     West Island College (via CBS News)

Video                                     The Associated Press

 

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 February 21, 2010 Update:

The Calgary Herald published the following time line regarding the rescue of the students and crew aboard the Concordia tall ship:

Wednesday, Feb. 17:

2:30 p.m. - a distress signal goes out from the Concordia

Crystal Pioneer - Concordia Rescue9 p.m. - Brazilian navy receives alert.

Navy officials spend 18 hours confirming what ship sent the signal, whose flag it was under. Confirms location, attempts radio contact with the Concordia. Contacts the school - is informed the last contact with the ship did not indicate any problem.

Thursday, Feb. 18:

2:30 p.m. - Brazilian navy asks air force to do a flyover of the area and alerts merchant ships in the region. Stormy seas prevail.

5 p.m. - Brazilian air force spots lifeboats. 

9 p.m. - Merchant ships Crystal Pioneer (photo above) and Hokuetsu Delight (photo below) told to go to location. Stormy seas, bad weather continue.

Friday, Feb. 19:

4 a.m. - Crystal Pioneer spots lifeboats - due to darkness and high seas, waits to pluck the survivors to safety.

Hokuetsu Delight - Concordia Rescue7 a.m. - The relieved passengers start boarding the Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight.

9 a.m. - Last lifeboat located, passengers transferred to Hokuetsu Delight.

Saturday, Feb. 20: 

All 64 students, teachers and crew arrive safely in Rio de Janeiro

Sources: Nigel McCarthy and The Brazilian Navy (via Calgary Herald)

 

March 5, 2010 Update:

There are some excellent photographs of the lifeboat and the students being rescued on line at the Amver blog.

 

Credits: 

Crystal Pioneer    CIShipping.com Cayman Registery

Hokuetsu Delight    Shipspotting.com (Andreas Schlatterer)