GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

November 2, 2012

Search for Bounty captain suspended

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard suspended its search Thursday for the missing captain of the HMS Bounty 200 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C.

Missing is Robin Walbridge, 63.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Walbridge and Christian families,” said Capt. Doug Cameron, the chief of incident response for the Coast Guard 5th District. “Suspending a search and rescue case is one of the hardest decisions we have to make.”

The Bounty, an 18th-century replica tall ship that was the set of countless movie dramas, floundered and sank in high seas Monday during Hurricane Sandy. The Coast Guard rescues 14 members of the crew; a 15th crew member was later found unresponsive and declared dead at the hospital.

The vessel was traveling to its home port in Florida after touring the East Coast, including a stop in Gloucester for the Schooner Festival on Labor Day weekend.

The following Coast Guard assets assisted in the search:

HC-130 Hercules aircrews from Elizabeth City, N.C. and Clearwater, Fla.

MH-60 Jayhawk crews from Air Station Elizabeth City

Coast Guard HC-144 Ocean Sentry crews from Miami, Fla.

Crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Elm, a 225-foot buoy tender homeported in Atlantic Beach, N.C.

Crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Gallatin, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter homeported in Charleston, S.C.

Coast Guard crews searched more than 90 hours, covering approximately 12,000 overlapping square nautical miles in the Atlantic Ocean since the Bounty’s crew abandoned ship Monday morning.