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tragic loss

Famed tall ship falls victim to Sandy's wrath; 14 rescued and one life lost; captain remains missing

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HMS Bounty, ship, sinks, ocean, October 2012
The 180-foot replica of the HMS Bounty sank off the North Carolina coast on Monday. The tall ship was heading south for a winter stay in the Port of Galveston. HMS Bounty/Facebook
HMS Bounty, sinks, ship, October 2012
From the HMS Bounty Facebook page on Oct. 30: "We are mourn the loss of Bounty's crewmember Claudene Christian and Pray for the continued efforts to rescue our Beloved Captain, Robin Walbridge."   Photo courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard
HMS Bounty, ship, Captain Robin Walbridge, sinks, October 2012
"Latest communication from Captain Robin Walbridge. Sent last night," reads the caption for this photo, taken on Oct. 28. Walbridge remains missing as of Wednesday. HMS Bounty/Facebook
HMS Bounty, crew, ship, sinks, October 2012
"HMS Bounty Crew in today's sail!" posted on Oct. 24 on the HMS Bounty Facebook page. HMS Bounty/Facebook
HMS Bounty, ship, sinks, ocean, October 2012
HMS Bounty, sinks, ship, October 2012
HMS Bounty, ship, Captain Robin Walbridge, sinks, October 2012
HMS Bounty, crew, ship, sinks, October 2012

The Port of Galveston had big winter plans for the replica of the famed HMS Bounty, which was set to be docked at Pier 21 near the Strand for an extended stay expected to draw hundreds of tourists.

But as the tall ship made its way down south from its most recent home in Connecticut, Superstorm Sandy made a last minute change in the itinerary, redirecting the famous boat to the bottom of the Atlantic.

The 180-foot vessel — which was built for the 1962 classic Mutiny on the Bounty and most recently starred in two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels —  sank off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

The 180-foot vessel — which was built for the 1962 classic Mutiny on the Bounty and most recently starred in two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels — sank off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Monday after losing a battle against Sandy's heavy winds and 18-foot waves.

The U.S. Coast Guard managed to rescue 14 crew members, who were equipped with special survival suits allowing them to withstand the frigid waters for up to 15 hours.

Claudene Christian — a fifth great-granddaughter of Fletcher Christian, who led the 1789 mutiny against captain William Bligh and was played by Marlon Brando in the '60s film adaptation — perished during the incident and the ship's 63-year-old captain, Robin Walbridge, remains to be located.

“We hope for the best for the people who were on the ship,” Port of Galveston director Mike Mierzwa told the Galveston Daily News. “We had really looked forward to them coming here.”

Once final agreements were made with the ship's owner, port officials said the Bounty would be berthed next to the Seaport Museum where another vintage clipper, the Elissa from 1877, is on display. The now-sunken ship was expected to stay in Galveston through April.

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