Nellysford native Chris Barksdale is alive after abandoning the HMS Bounty, about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Barksdale was one of 14 crew members rescued from life rafts by the Coast Guard. A 15th crew member, Claudene Christian, 42, was pulled from the water unresponsive and was taken to Elizabeth City Hospital, according to a Coast Guard spokesman. Crews are still scanning the waters for the ship’s captain, Robin Walbridge, 63.
The Bounty had reportedly left Connecticut last week en route for St. Petersburg, Florida. The 180-foot, 3-mast vessel was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie “Mutiny on the Bounty.” It had issued a distress signal Sunday after taking on water and losing propulsion as Hurricane Sandy approached the East Coast of the United States.
Known locally as the “Honey-Do Handyman”, Barksdale’s friends and family closely monitored reports of the Coast Guard’s rescue mission Monday and were relieved to hear their friend survived the ordeal.
Coast Guard rescue video here.