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



















Express 27 National Championship overall + Video by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,














America's Cup: Louis Vuitton Cup's Yves Carcelle dies at 66 *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












Audi Melges 20 World Championship - ‘Samba Pa Ti’ crowned champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,


Ronstan Bridge to Bridge 2014 - Images by Erik Simonson
Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Australian Sailing Team signs up
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 3
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA sailors place on world regatta circuits
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2
PWA Alacati World Cup - Intense competition on day 3
America's Cup: 'The Doc' appointed as Commercial Commissioner
Wake Park Triple Crown - Registration open for final stop
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 2 images by Stefano Gattini
Volvo Ocean Race - Two more join Dongfeng Race Team
OHPRI Teen Summer Camps make a splash
East to West: A profile of Volvo Ocean Race crew Team Dongfeng
Extreme Sailing Series - First-ever Turkish team to race in Istanbul
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Race 4 images by Max Ranchi
New Around Britain and Ireland Monohull 40ft and less world record
Detroit Cup - Fifth place finish a difficult result for Neptune Racing
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads
Volvo Ocean Race: Call of Duty comes first for Team Alvimedica
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini
Helping boaters understand weather basics   
PWA Alacati World Cup - Exciting finish on day 2   
Match 40s find the surface again + Video   
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi   
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director   
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition   
IFDS World Championship overall   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series   
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2   
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda   
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14   
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing   
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa   
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video   
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic   
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?   
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta   
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay   
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT