HMS Bounty capsizes off Carolina; search continues for captain - FOX 32 News Chicago

HMS Bounty capsizes off Carolina; search continues for captain

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The search continues Tuesday for the captain of the HMS Bounty, which capsized off the coast of North Carolina during the crew's attempt to get ahead of hurricane Sandy.

There were 16 crew members onboard when hurricane Sandy started tossing around waves on the North Carolina coast and the ship began to take on water. Then, the engine stopped and the crew abandoned ship. There are concerns that the captain may have gone down with the ship.

"This just was an amazing ship," HMS Bounty owner said of the ship. "Everybody that stepped aboard her fell in love with her."

That's why the owner of the HMS Bounty says Captain Robin Wallbridge loved this 18th century replica tall ship, which was used in films like Mutiny on the Bounty and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Her final hours were spent as dramatic as the Hollywood films it once starred in.

The coast guard rescued 14 people. One by one, they were taken into a basket which was hoisted up into a helicopter.

28-year-old Drew Salapatek lives in suburban Blue Island and is recovering on the east coast. His neighbor told FOX Chicago News that he and his mother have been talking about this voyage since last summer.

"They were telling me all about it--they were excited," said neighbor Elizar Delos Santos. "He was excited and he said he really loved doing it--and that was the last time I talked to him."

A female crew member's body was found hours later unresponsive. The search continues for the captain.

Wallbridge, a teacher, was in Chicago with the Bounty for the Tall Ships Tour at Navy Pier a few years ago. He talked about his love of sailing.

"I think it's pretty exciting to be a captain of a ship like this...what's interesting is that today I get to go in all the cool places, "Wallbridge said back then. "The biggest reward is that you get to know the vessel like this and it becomes a part of your life. You just become one with the vessel."

The captain's wife told a local newspaper in Florida that her husband died because he probably didn't want to leave the ship before the coast guard showed up.

Hours after the rescue, a female crew member's body was found unresponsive.


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