News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Sinking of the Bounty: A survivor tells his story
Sinking of the Bounty: A survivor tells his story

'HMS Bounty in her death throes'    .

Of all the nightmares that a cruising sailor might have about misadventures at sea, one of the most vivid is that of watching your boat sink while you climb into a life raft in a raging storm. What would it be like... how would you feel...? Here a survivor from the sinking of the HMAS Bounty, Chris Barksdale, tells his story to Katrina Koerting:

Bounty survivor remembers the moments -  .. .  

Being in the water was the most frightening, looking up at the masts and rigging rising and falling toward me with the force of the 20-foot waves.

That’s when I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not. I had to break free of the rigging several times. The worst part was trying to get away from the ship.

The limited flexibility in our immersion suits and the waves made it difficult for us to deploy the life rafts and climb aboard.

I have no idea how long we were in the water, it seemed like an eternity.


Barksdale and five others had managed to make it onto one of the two rafts, which hold 20 people. The other raft held a majority of the remaining crew. Waves continued to smack the crew, sending them to the other side of the raft.
.......

But back to the beginning...

Before Hurricane Sandy caused the sinking of the famed tall ship, Chris Barksdale had started to think of his fellow crew members as a family.

'When you’re together 24/7 like that, you become family relatively quickly,' the fifty-six-year-old told the Nelson Country Times. 'We were all pretty close before the tragedy and we’re closer now.'

Barksdale was one of 14 crewmembers rescued about 90 miles off the coast of North Carolina when the Bounty went down. Two crewmembers died — the ship’s captain, Robin Walbridge, whose body was not found, and deckhand Claudene Christian.

The ship had set sail from New London, Conn., on Oct. 25 en route to Florida when it crossed paths with Sandy a few days into the trip. The storm was not unexpected by the crew; Walbridge had called everyone on deck to tell them about the approaching hurricane before they left Connecticut, saying he would understand if people decided to get off the ship, Barksdale said.

Everyone stayed.

'Naturally I was a little hesitant about that, but [the captain] explained the situation and it seemed like he had a pretty good strategy,' Barksdale said. 'We were going to try and get around the hurricane. Nobody knew that it was going to have the intensity and size it ended up having.'

Rough winds and waves shook the ship for about a day and a half. Crewmembers had to cling to parts of the Bounty or they would be thrown overboard.

Around midday Oct. 28, the crew noticed the ship was taking on more water than normal. Mechanical problems developed, including the failure of one of the main engines and the water pumps. The U.S. Coast Guard and the Bounty’s land office were alerted.

Conditions worsened later in the day. Crewmembers began pulling out immersion suits — used to keep them dry and warm in the water — and stuffing dry bags with rations in case the order came to abandon ship, Barksdale said.

Up until the early hours of Oct. 29, the crew’s priority was saving the ship.

Barksdale said that while he knew they were in trouble, he thought they would be OK because of the crew’s training, experience and preparation.

'There was never any panic amongst anybody,' he said. 'The crew knew what they needed to do; everybody was sticking together. Everybody was making sure that we were prepared.'

When the battered and sleep-deprived crew went on deck in the hours before dawn, waves continued to hammer the ship. The Bounty had taken on so much water she was almost on her side with her three masts in the ocean.

'It became apparent that you didn’t have much choice, you were going in that water,' Barksdale said.

This was the last time Barksdale saw the captain and Christian.

Bounty rescue -  .. .  
It was the next morning, about 6:30 a.m., that the Coast Guard’s helicopters provided a welcome soundtrack overhead. A Coast Guard rescuer dove into the waters and began pulling the Bounty’s crew to safety using a basket tethered to the helicopter. The basket spun in the 40 mph winds during the ascent.

'The character of a man that would jump in and have himself lowered into those seas and go swimming in those seas to rescue people he had never laid eyes on, there’s a lot to be said for him,' Barksdale said.

As the life raft began to empty and become lighter, the wind force from the helicopter’s blades flipped it, sending Barksdale and a few others back into the ocean as they awaited rescue.

After a rough ride up into the helicopter, Barksdale and his friends had a cramped two-hour flight to Elizabeth City, N.C. At the base, they were given food, clothes and medical attention and learned the fate of their other crewmembers.

'I have the highest admiration for the Coast Guard and Red Cross,' Barksdale said.

HMS Bounty -  .. ©   Click Here to view large photo


by Katrina Koerting, Nelson County Times/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103934

9:43 AM Tue 20 Nov 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
EPIRB's and rescues

Related News Stories:

11 Nov 2012  Couple rescued, boat lost to storm on notorious Tonga-Auckland route
05 Nov 2012  PLB Where? Permanently attached to your person of course
09 Oct 2012  PLB saves life of another solo sailor
06 Oct 2012  Sinking sailor calls Mum
06 Oct 2012  Sinking sailor calls Mum
23 Sep 2012  Dangerous rescue brings more awards for three
01 Sep 2012  Dismasted yacht with no EPIRB waits 10 hours for rescue
19 Aug 2012  Hopes faded for missing WA sailor
17 Aug 2012  Search underway in WA for missing sailor
04 Aug 2012  EPIRB proves its worth in sudden capsize- seven French sailors rescued
MORE STORIES ...






Cruising USA

World ARC 2014 reaches Australia by World Cruising Club,


Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao by Caribbean Safety and Security Net,


Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,
















4.8 million Legos all at sea by Adam Clark Estes,






Dredging activity near corals can increase frequency of diseases by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,




Understanding the Ocean's role in Greenland Glacier melt by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI),




Three Defensive Docking Strategies for Sailors by Captain John Jamieson, Florida


Revealing report on Search for American yacht Nina released *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,














Baby Nemos finding their way home by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies,










The real ‘Supermoon’ story by Sail-world.com,




Sailor rescued after Facebook call for rescue by RNLI/Sail-World Cruising,


Solo sailing star's passion = busy environmental schedule
El Niño (Part 2). Effects on the Pacific Ocean
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 1)
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, photos
The Galley Guys' favourite shrimp recipe
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon
BoatUS speaks out about 'Ethanol-at-all-cost Agenda'
Tidal current installations will increase boating hazards
Eco-Sailboat of the future - Catherine Chabaud at work
Calling yachts in the South Pacific - rally to New Zealand
The final touch - which wax should I use on my boat?
ARC Baltic sets sail to discover Europe's 'east sea'
Another boom death. Australian sailor dies, hit by swinging boom
Galley Guru vital to the life of the cruising sailor
'Boat Handling in Marinas' by Rob Gibson - and how to get it reliably
Heart-stopping moment as whale capsizes Zodiac
If we stop killing parrotfish we can bring back Caribbean coral reefs
Climate change could stop fish finding their friends
Vanuatu ups their welcome to cruising sailors with new approach
Criminal charges mooted for owners of sunk HMS Bounty
Red faces after authorities inadvertently aid boat thief to get away   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
Sail Estonia: a VERY new idea   
Tie This 'Lifesaving' Bowline in Seconds - the easy way!   
A Beer Bummel on the Thames River   
Online weather routing - possible? Predict Wind says yes   
Why Boats Sink: Ten best tips on prevention   
The North West Passage calls: Who will answer this year?   
Polish adventure sailor in second try at North West Passage   
Whale research - new techniques expand for non-lethal methods   
Jessica Watson, solo sailing star, four years on...   
Americas solo non-stop circumnavigator crosses Pacific for research   
What is an El Niño and how will it affect my sailing? (Part 1)   
The Dinghy Nav Light Solution- a brilliantly dumb idea   
Spike in water temperatures evidence of ‘irreversible’ El Nino *Feature   
Sailing crew's battle to save yacht lost in the Indian Ocean   
Five Top Tips for selecting the best boatyard   
Tips for selecting the best boatyard   
Predictwind unlocks more features on free accounts   
Composite Rigging launches new campaign for ECsix   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT