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

America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,














America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,














































2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii






BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video   
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead   
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video   
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2   
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video   
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice   
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs   
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off   
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario   
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events   
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   


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