Former Apalachicola sailor missing at sea

Robin Walbridge

Robin Walbridge

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at 02:18 PM.


Robin Walbridge, 63, is the captain of the 180-foot, three-masted schooner HMS Bounty, a replica built from the plans of the original 18th century wooden ship in Nova Scotia to use in filming “Mutiny on the Bounty” with Marlon Brando in 1962. It later also appeared in a version of Treasure Island and “Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man’s Chest.”

The Bounty, which has since acted as a training vessel and museum, is owned by New York businessman Robert Hansen. According to a Facebook page for the ship, Walbridge was attempting to skirt the outer edge of Hurricane Sandy to safe harbor in St. Petersburg .

In a press conference Monday, Tracie Simonin, director of the HMS Bounty Organization, said the ship tried to stay clear of Sandy 's power. "It was something that we and the captain of the ship were aware of," Simonin said.

The vessel left Connecticut on Thursday with a crew of 11 men and five women, ranging in age from 20 to 66. Everyone aboard knew the journey could be treacherous.

"This will be a tough voyage for Bounty," read a posting on the ship's Facebook page showing satellite images of the storm.

She began to sink at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras . Amid 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas, Walbridge ordered his crew to abandon ship after an engine failed and the Bounty began to take on water faster than pumps could remove it.

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