The H.M.S. Bounty sails past the Chicago skyline during a 2003 tall-ship festival. When the Bounty set sail last Thursday from Connecticut en route for St. Petersburg, Florida, Captain Walbridge expressed optimism that his crew could navigate around the hurricane.
"Rest assured that the Bounty is safe and in very capable hands," Walbridge wrote on the vessel's Facebook page. "Bounty's current voyage is a calculated decision...NOT AT ALL... irresponsible or with a lack of foresight as some have suggested. The fact of the matter is... A SHIP IS SAFER AT SEA THAN IN PORT!"
But after two days, the updates became more grim. "I think we are going to be into this for several days," Walbridge wrote in an update. "We are just going to keep trying to go fast and squeese [sic] by the storm and land as fast as we can."
The last update from the Bounty was posted Sunday night. One of the ship's generators had failed, it said, and an alarming amount of water had seeped into the vessel.
Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Coast Guard received a distress call from the Bounty, sinking about 90 miles (145 kilometers) off the coast of Hatteras, North Carolina. The ship's crew had donned cold-water survival suits and life jackets before abandoning ship in two 25-person covered lifeboats.
(Related: "Sandy Far From Finished: Why Storm's Still Super, Headed for New Targets.")