Nelson: Chris Barksdale Back Home After Harrowing Experience In Hurricane Sandy – Update Video

Blue Ridge Life™2012 - Nelson County Life ©2012 : Photos By Tommy Stafford : Chris Barksdale of Nellysford prepares for a television interview Sunday afternoon - November 11, 2012 with reporter Rachel Ryan of our media partner CBS-19 in Charlottesville.

Nelson County, VA

Several days ago we told you about Chris Barksdale’s near death experience out in the Atlantic during hurricane Sandy. He and his shipmates went down with the HMS Bounty. The Bounty was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando.

“I knew we were getting in trouble on Sunday (October 28th), late morning, early afternoon. It appeared we were taking on more water than we were pumping out, Chris said from his outside deck in Nellysford Sunday afternoon with CBS-19 Reporter Rachel Ryan and NCL’s Tommy Stafford.

Part 1 of 3 CBS-19 series on Chris Barksdale

See parts 2 and 3 of the series by clicking here.

“We were going to try to hold off until daylight came to get in the water with hopes the boat would stay afloat that long so we could get some pumps from the coast guard to help pump water back out. Our first concern was the safety of everyone on board, our second was trying to save the ship.” Chris said the orders were given late Sunday night or very early Monday morning for everyone to put on their immersion suits, sometimes referred to as the gumby suit. The suits help keep crew members from getting hypothermia and drowning while in the ocean.

“Some of the crew had worked up some lines where we were going to do a controlled decent into the life rafts. Unfortunately we didn’t have time for that. The boat heeled all of the way over so the mast were in the water. We pretty much went sliding off the deck into the ocean,” Chris continued.

Chris Barksdale tells CBS-19 reporter Rachel Ryan about spending several hours in a life raft with roughly a half dozen of his crew members after they were flung into the ocean during hurricane Sandy.

Around daylight Monday on October 29, 2012 the Coast Guard made it to the location where Chris and his shipmates had been thrown overboard. He went on to say the seas had to be at least 25-30 feet and winds sometimes 80 knots.

From there Chris and his fellow shipmates were eventually rescued and flown about 2.5 hours back to land. Sadly, two of the crew including the ship’s captain, didn’t make. it.

Chris returned back to Nelson permanently this past weekend.

Chris talks about his near death experience in Hurricane Sandy this past Sunday afternoon - November 11, 2012 with his son and his son's girlfriend at his side.

NCL will present Chris’ story in print in our upcoming December issue of NCL. CBS-19 will also present an in depth series on Chris Barksdale of Nellysford and what he went through from the time he left Nelson until his return. More details and links to the 19 stories as they air.

Welcome home Chris, glad you made it back ok!


  1. Gotta love cub reportering in rural VA…I sure hope I never survive a life-threatening experience only to have the local paper report that I went down with the ship. So glad Chris made it back alive!


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