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Sunken HMS Bounty a familiar sight; sad loss for area boaters

Sandusky Register Staff • Oct 31, 2012 at 8:36 AM

One crew member is dead and still missing is the captain of the 180-foot three-master HMS Bounty, which sunk in the turbulent ocean about 160 miles from the hurricane's eye.

The ship issued a distress signal Sunday night after it began taking on water, the Coast Guard said.

Officials said all 16 sailors eventually abandoned the sinking ship, donning cold-water survival suits and life jackets. They also launched two 25-man lifeboats with canopies.

Winds of 50 mph and 18-foot waves hindered the rescue mission.

The HMS Bounty was built for the 1962 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty," starring Marlon Brando. It was also used in other films, including one of Johnny Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.

The ship has toured many ports and locations over the years, including in Cleveland and Sandusky.

Pat Chrysler, a former charter boat captain who is retired from the Put-in-Bay Township Port Authority, remembers the ship well — he was aboard it when it visited this area as part of the Parade of Tall Ships in 2004.

"That's when ships were made of wood, and men were made of steel," Chrysler said. "It was a step back in time."

It's a shame the ship and its crew have become part of a long, tragic history, he said.

"For the big ship to go down, you realize how strong that storm is," Chrysler said. "She was built to weather storms — she came across oceans all the time."

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