Authorities are still searching for the 63-year-old captain of a ship that was caught in the eye of Hurricane Sandy Sunday evening.
The U.S. Coast Guard was able to rescue 14 of the 16 crew members from the HMS Bounty which sank off the coast of North Carolina around 4:30 a.m Monday. The 15th crew member, Claudene Christian, was found unresponsive Tuesday, she was pronounced dead at a North Carolina hospital.
Authorities are still searching for the captain Robin Walbridge, who ordered his crew to abandon the ship around 4:30 a.m. Monday.
Capt. Walbridge posted on his Facebook page on Sunday that he intended to avoid the storm by sailing east on its voyage from Connecticut to Florida. Around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, he placed a distress call reporting that his ship had lost power and pumps were unable to keep up with the water filling the hull.
The ship’s owner contacted the Coast Guard, which sent out a search aircraft to the ship about 90miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, an area known as “the Graveyard of the Atlantic.”
Reports say around 4:30 a.m. Monday, Capt. Walbridge ordered all hands to abandon the sinking ship.
Christian, who grew up in Alaska, became a member of the HMS Bounty on May 12. She was crowned Miss Alaska National Teenager in 1987 and one year later she became Miss Alaska American Coed.
The HMS was a replica of the 18th century British vessel that was the center of events on which the book and films “Mutiny on the Bounty” were based.