Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Those in peril on the sea

Sad stories and images of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy continue on news channels here.  The wind continues to blow and small craft warnings are still in effect.  I see the images of the flooded tunnels, subways and streets of New York and New Jersey, yet I can't get out of my mind the story of the sinking of the HMS Bounty off Cape Hatteras.

Cape Hatteras, the graveyard of the Atlantic, and the watery depths off the North Carolina coast have gripped the sunken relics of 1,000 ships for more than four centuries.  And now the masts of the Bounty are what can be seen rising from the water.

Of the sixteen crew members on board,  14 were rescued by the US Coast Guard swimmers and helicopters.  One of the two lost crew members, Claudene Christian, a distant relative of Fletcher Christian who led the mutiny on the original bounty, was found on Monday afternoon but was pronounced dead that evening.  Captain Robin Walbridge remains lost at sea.

The heroes in all this are the United States Coast Guard who put themselves  in situations that give most people nightmares.  My respect for them is enormous as they rescue people from the sea.  The following video is a bit long but shows what they did during the rescue of the Bounty's crew members.



I enjoyed touring the ship when she was in town in May.  I wrote a little bit about my fascination with the ship and the story of the original Bounty here.  I want to share a few of my photos from my visit to the ship.





And finally this comes to mind:
Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

20 comments:

  1. The Coast Guard is amazing and heroic and I am so grateful for them.
    What a tragedy the loss of that ship and two crew is. This storm is unbelievable.

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    1. They are indeed amazing. I have read many books about their heroic rescues. Every one amazes me.

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  2. love that last little prayer in verse....and thank goodness for the coast guard out there saving lives and putting their own in harms way during these crisis'

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    1. Eternal Father is the hymn for the mariners and many other service organizations. I first heard it in the church of my youth.

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  3. Oh my gosh, I watched the whole video. I am having little one watch it too. All I could think of was how strong those men and women are....think of what strong swimmers they are. And that cold water blowing all around them. I don't like to be cold....think of the discomfort they put themselves through to save another human being. Thanks for sharing Syd....Really, I am awestruck.

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    1. Sadly, after four days, the search was suspended for the Captain. He is lost at sea. Another crew member was recovered but was pronounced dead. Fourteen were saved by the CG. They are incredible.

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  4. I was so worried about you and C and the animals. Good to know that you all fared so well. I watched the video. For some reason it made me want to weep. Is the HMS Bounty lost for good? Or can they raise her up and somehow retrieve her out of the water??

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    1. Thanks, Lolly. We just had wind and all were fine. The Bounty sank at about 2000 m of water. I don't think it will be possible to raise her as it would be too costly and she is made of wood which means she would likely break up.

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  5. it was a shame that the ship sunk. Celestine and i got to visit the ship when it docked here in Cleveland several years ago.

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    1. Yes, it was a shame. I visited her in Charleston and enjoyed the hours spent looking around.

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  6. I, too, found this incredibly sad, Syd. I can't help but wonder why they were out there when they knew what was coming.

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    1. I have wondered the same thing, Ginnie. I think the Coast Guard inquiry will reveal a lot.

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  7. I feel it was a serious error in judgement that the ship was where it was during a damn hurricane. What were they thinking?
    I understand about not being in port and I understand about an attempt to head east of the storm, but look what happened.

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    1. Better to lose the ship than the crew. I don't understand the logic either. There are plenty of inshore river anchorages where she would have been battered but not sunk.

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  8. I thought of your post when I read about HMS Bounty yesterday Syd -- so sad and such a lovely boat. I hope the danger is over for most people on the East Coast.

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    1. The danger is still there, Mary, because of lost power, stranded people, sewage and powerlines in water. Very sad to see what the storm did to NJ and NY.

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  9. What a beautiful and thoughtful post,Syd.
    I too honor those lost at sea - as well as
    all who dare to venture it,explore it and -
    those who risk their own lives to save others.
    Tab

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    1. Hatteras continues with the name Graveyard of the Atlantic. It is dangerous no matter what.

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  10. I am glad you are okay.

    Like the others, I cannot figure out why the ship was even at sea. I will hold judgement till the answers come but they better be good answers. I can't fathom what they might be.

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Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.