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Captain Of Sunken HMS Bounty Had Ties To Quincy

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WBZ-TV's Kate Merrill Kate Merrill
Kate Merrill is an Emmy award winning journalist for WBZ-TV News and...
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BOSTON (CBS) – They haven’t given up.

The Coast Guard will continue its’ search for the captain of the tall ship HMS Bounty which sank after an intense battering during Monday’s storm.

Capt. Robin Walbridge’s sister lives in Quincy and tells us her brother was doing what he loved best.

“His life was the sea, his life was sailing, his life was the Bounty. He loved it dearly,” says Lucille Walbridge Jansen about her brother Robin, the Bounty’s captain.

Coast Guard divers risked their own lives during a rescue mission after the Bounty took on water and her engines failed. Under wildly windy conditions they plucked 14 sailors from life rafts. A 15th, Claudene Christian was found, but didn’t survive.

The last, Capt. Walbridge, was missing. The once mighty tall ship was smashed by Hurricane Sandy 90 miles off the North Carolina coast.

“All the memories of my brother are just flashing through my mind. I’m kind of numb, taking it all in,” says Lucille.

The ship was originally built for the 1962 movie, Mutiny On The Bounty. The 63 year old Walbridge had been captain for 17 years.

“He went down doing what he loved, taking care of his crew,” says his sister.

The Bounty sailed last week with Capt. Walbridge believing he could navigate around the storm. One of the last messages he posted on the Bounty’s Facebook page reads:

“I think we are going to be into this for several days…..we are just going to keep trying to go fast and squeeze by the storm.”

“I don’t think he was being foolhardy. He was in touch with the Hurricane Center throughout. The very last picture from the ship of him is him studying the charts in deep thought,” says Lucille.

The Bounty was a replica of the real life 18th century square rigger that once called Fall River home. The ship was docked there from 1993 to 2001.

And in a twist of history, the crew woman who died, Claudene Christian, was reportedly a direct descendent of Fletcher Christian, the lead mutineer aboard the original Bounty.

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