sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : HMS Bounty rescue swimmers honoured, tell the story
HMS Bounty rescue swimmers honoured, tell the story


'Recognition for heroism - HMS Bounty'    .

Along with most other leisure sailors, we at Sail-World are always happy to see the brave exploits of those who go to rescue sailors in trouble recognised. Here the heroes of the rescue of the crew of HMS Bounty during Hurricane Sandy are honoured, and have their story told:

Rescue swimmer Randy Haba was standing duty Oct. 28 at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C. It had been four days since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in Jamaica. People up and down the East Coast were hunkered down in advance of the storm, and the aviation survival technician second class didn’t anticipate a busy shift.

But about 80 nautical miles east of Cape Hatteras, N.C., the HMS Bounty was caught in the storm and slowly sinking.

The Coast Guard initially hoped to wait until morning to rescue the tall ship’s crew, Haba said, but the Bounty was falling apart. So, in the early morning of Oct. 29, Haba put on hisdry suit and boarded a helo.

'We took off and went straight into the clouds,' Haba said.

A second helicopter would join efforts soon after, with AST3 Daniel Todd on board.

Haba and Todd would rescue a total of 14 of the Bounty’s 16 crew members over a few hours, actions that earned each of them a Distinguished Flying Cross, presented June 26 in Portsmouth, Va. Twenty-three other Coast Guardsmen were also recognized for the rescue.

The Bounty left Oct. 25 from New London, Conn., bound for St. Petersburg, Fla. Its captain, Robin Walbridge, reportedly believed he could sail around the storm.

It was still dark when the first helo took off from Elizabeth City; with the heavy rain and wind, the crew was flying by instruments, Haba said. After 90 minutes or so they descended through the cloud cover, about 200 to 250 feet above the water, to get eyes on the ocean.

They spotted strobes and checked each one for survivors. They found one Bounty crew member floating in the roiling ocean. Haba was lowered into the water below, where 30-foot waves pounded against him and kept him from reaching the crew member, he said. In his third attempt he finally got to the man, fastening a strap around his chest. The helo lifted them up.

But there were 15 more people in the ocean. After not finding anyone in the rest of the strobe lights, the helo took Haba near a life raft. Haba disconnected from his line and went into the ocean. In a separate helo, Todd was lowered into the ocean to go after Bounty crew members floating in a second raft.

last sight of HMS Bounty in her death throes -  .. .  

The swimmers braved gale-force winds and swells from all directions, Todd said.

'It was like [being inside] a washing machine,' he added.

When he got to the raft, Todd found six crew members and started putting them in a rescue basket, one by one. Waves would flip him in a somersault as he swam. After rescuing two crew members, a wave flipped the entire raft over.

The remaining four escaped the raft’s smothering canopy, yet still held on. All were rescued.

At the other raft, Haba had seven people to save. He took the weakest first, a man who Haba described as in his 60s and who appeared seasick. Using a cross-chest carry, Haba swam the man back near the helo and signaled for the hoist. He did that three more times, at one point getting his mask and snorkel knocked off by a wave.

After he put a fourth person from the raft into the helicopter, the Coast Guard crew lowered the hook for him. He hooked himself up, thinking the helo was taxiing him to the raft to rescue the last three. Instead, he was pulled up. The helicopter was running out of fuel and needed to take the survivors back to the air station.

'I told them I wanted to go back down' and stay until the next helo came, Haba said. But his fellow Coasties told him the other helo could take over.

Todd had just rescued the six people aboard the second raft. He was tired and feeling a little sick from swallowing sea water, he said. He was mentally ready for the ride home when he was told the other helo was running out of fuel. Could he go back to rescue the final three people from the other raft?

'It took me one split second,' Todd said, thinking to himself, 'As long as the [helo] has gas, I’m going to have gas.'

And he went back into the ocean. In all, he saved nine people.

Another C-130 kept searching for the last two crew members missing from the Bounty. Claudene Christian was hoisted by a third helo crew, but did not survive. Walbridge was never found.

Todd said that he thinks of his award as representing all the people who do rescues. 'It’s a team effort to go out there,' he said.

Both men said they didn’t jump into the ocean to earn recognition or awards — they were just doing their jobs.

'I’m just happy to help out,' Haba said simply. 'That’s about it.'


by Antonieta Rico, Navy Times/Sail-World Cruising

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=111950

8:38 PM Sun 14 Jul 2013GMT


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


Related News Stories:

14 Jun 2013  Events Clothing up for NZ Exporter of the Year
10 Jun 2013  Queens Birthday Honours for Marine Rescuers
08 May 2013  First-timers' yachting lifestyle magazine app wins Award
06 Mar 2013  Cruising Club of America Annual Awards Dinner held at New York YC
03 Mar 2013  Two sailing superyachts in Yacht & Aviation Awards 2013 short-list
18 Feb 2013  West Marine's 'Green Products of 2013' announced - both practical
15 Feb 2013  Cruising Together: CCA awards couple for decade-long sailing
13 Feb 2013  Rod Stephens Trophy Awarded - he saved the sailor AND the sailing boat
01 Feb 2013  Hatch Fan wins sailing innovation award
25 Jan 2013  UK sailors: Nominations open for 2013 RYA Volunteer Awards
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

















Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,






2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan








Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island










America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,






Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; MC38s Lindeman Island Race VIDEO
2014 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Ready to rock
IFDS Worlds - Wind delays, but racing continues in Halifax
IFDS World Championships - Day 2 images by Jude Robertson
MS Cup - Three days until the start
America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3   
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.   
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1   
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson   
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled   
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   


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  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT