Christian Science Monitor
October 30, 2012
Claudene Christian perished in the tragic sinking Monday of a replica HMS Bounty, after the ship went down in hurricane Sandy-swept seas. She had claimed a a family tie to Fletcher Christian, chief mutineer on the original ship.
When Claudene Christian applied earlier this year for a spot as a mate on the famous tall ship replica of the HMS Bounty, she probably had a little edge: Her family claimed a historical connection to the original ship via Fletcher Christian, who had instigated the 1789 mutiny that propelled the Bounty and its crew into maritime history and Hollywood fantasy.
In an almost inexplicable twist on that family legacy, Ms. Christian is so far the only confirmed casualty from the loss of the 1962 replica, which sank Monday off Cape Hatteras, N.C., in the high seas wrought by hurricane Sandy. The captain of the HMS Bounty, Robin Walbridge, remains missing, though the US Coast Guard has not given up the search.
Maritime historians say the Bounty story as told by Hollywood – the heroic Christian versus the evil Captain Bligh – created a false reality, as actors such as Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando, and Mel Gibson all portrayed Christian. To some, Ms. Christian’s death at sea seems almost as surreal, a bizarre series of events that reads like a Hollywood script.
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Watch the Coast Guard Rescue of HMS Bounty…