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October 31, 2012

UPDATE: Coast Guard continues search for missing captain of HMS Bounty

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard is continuing its search today for the missing captain of the HMS Bounty approximately 145 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C.

Missing is Robin Walbridge, 63.

"As of now, our intent is to continue searching for the missing person," said Capt. Doug Cameron, the chief of incident response for the Coast Guard 5th District. "This is still an active search, not a recovery effort. Factors such as fitness of the member, weather conditions, survival equipment and the results from previous searches are taken into consideration to determine how long the Coast Guard will search."

The Coast Guard is searching an area approximately 1,500 square nautical miles.

The water temperature is 77 degrees, air temperature is 64 degrees, seas are 12 feet, and the winds are 30 mph.

The Bounty was in Gloucester over the Labor Day weekend for the Schooner Festival, a stop on its East Coast. The vessel and its crew were on the way home to the Bounty's homeport in Florida when the ship went down during Hurricane Sandy on Monday.

The Coast Guard rescued 14 of the crew and later found Claudene Christian, a descendant of Fletcher Christian, the leader of the mutiny on the original Bounty. She was unresponsive when pulled from the sea and declared dead at the hospital.

The Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C., arrived on scene at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday and began searching for Walbridge. The crew aboard the HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., secured their searches for the night at approximately 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Elm, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Atlantic Beach, N.C., searched through the night and is en route to North Carolina.

A crew aboard an HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, Fla., conducted a four-hour search this morning, a Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., began a search at approximately 7:30 a.m. and a Hercules aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City will conduct a search after the Clearwater Hercules crew completes its search.



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