Early this morning news broke that the HMS Bounty was caught in Hurricane Sandy on her trip south and foundered in heavy weather. Fourteen of her 16 crew members were able to make it into life rafts and were ultimately rescued by the US Coast Guard. Here is an incredible video of this operation.
So our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Claudene Christian who died today and Captain Robin Walbridge who is still missing as I write this post.
Finally, the sad news is somewhat offset by the good news that we still have real life heroes today. US Coast rescue swimmers risk it all, accomplishing incomprehensible feats under mind-boggling conditions. While everyone else is advised to stay out of harms way, they are willing to jump into it save lives. They are true heroes and we can’t thank them enough for what they do, all in a days work.
2:30 p.m. – A distress signal goes out from the Concordia
9:00 p.m. – Brazilian navy receives alert. Navy officials spend 18 hours confirming what ship sent the signal, whose flag it was under. Confirms location, attempts radio contact with the Concordia. Contacts the school — is informed the last contact with the ship did not indicate any problem.
Thursday, Feb. 18
2:30 p.m. – Brazilian navy asks air force to do a flyover of the area and alerts merchant ships in the region. Stormy seas prevail.
5:00 p.m. – Brazilian air force spots lifeboats.
9:00 p.m. – Merchant ships Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight told to go to location. Stormy seas, bad weather continue.
Friday, Feb. 19
4:00 a.m. – Crystal Pioneer spots lifeboats — due to darkness and high seas, waits to pluck the survivors to safety.
7:00 a.m. – The relieved passengers start boarding the Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight.
9:00 a.m. – Last lifeboat located, passengers transferred to Hokuetsu Delight.
Saturday . Feb. 20 – All 64 students, teachers and crew arrive safely in Rio de Janeiro
I will continue to update this post with articles about the sinking of the Concordia. There’s a lot of duplicate content out there so I’ll do my best to curate the best, most relevant. While I am a huge fan of the Class Afloat program you may see posts with different opinions since I think examining this incident from different perspectives can be valuable and instructive. Thanks for visiting and please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment below.
Updated Feb. 19, 2010 – 10:00 PM EST There is still so little information available about what happened but the following story at least let’s us know that some communication has occurred with the captains of both the Concordia and the rescuing ship and that there are no serious injuries. The rest at this point is all speculation and conjecture. One thing that we do know for sure is that going to sea has always been and will always be fraught with risk and that’s one of the reasons why the experience can be so powerful.
I’ve posted aboutConcordia’s amazing program in the past and know the former owner and several of the captains and crew from my American Sail Training Association days. If you are not familiar with the Concordia or Class Afloat, please take a few minutes to watch this video about their amazing life forming programs for young students.
During a time when so many sail training vessels and tall ships are experiencing challenges, this is even more sad news. Concordia was a wonderful ship that did great work over the years and she will be sorely missed.
Think sailing a tall ship is challenging? That’s nothing compared to building one. Think building one is difficult, that’s nothing compared to finding the trees, cutting them down, dragging them out of the jungle, loading them on another tall ship and sailing them halfway around the world. Tall ships sailors never do anything easy.
Grab a beer and some popcorn because this will be the best reality TV that you’ll watch this week.
Duchesse Anne in Dunkirk, France – Formerly a German training-ship called Grossherzogin Elisabeth, built in 1901. She was saved from scrap by the City of Dunkirk in 1981 and is currently an exhibit at Musee Portuaire Dunkerque
. With an overall length of 90 m, she is the biggest tall ship preserved in France. (via GoogleEarthHacks)