Claudene Christian (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Halifax Chronicle Herald)
Superstorm Sandy's blizzard threat was still far off when, churning in the relatively warm Atlantic off Cape Hatteras, N.C., on Monday, Hurricane Sandy engulfed the replica tall ship HMS Bounty. The ship, which was featured in the films "Mutiny on the Bounty" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," took on water and eventually went down.
Coast Guard rescuers saved most of the 17 crew members, but a search continues for the ship's captain, Robin Wallbridge.
Swept overboard with him was Claudene Christian, 42, who said she was a direct descendant of the man who led the infamous 1789 mutiny on the real HMS Bounty. In the 1962 Bounty film, Marlon Brando starred as lead mutineer Fletcher Christian.
Searchers found Christian — a novice sailor who was wearing an orange survival suit — unresponsive in the water late Monday, about eight nautical miles from where the Bounty sank. She was flown by helicopter to a hospital on the mainland, where she was pronounced dead.
A marketing specialist, she had lived in Alaska, Oklahoma and California. She was a member of the University of Southern California cheering squad, the Song Girls, from 1989 to 1991, said coach Lori Nelson. "Claudene will always be remembered for her energetic and bubbly personality on and off the field," the team posted on its Facebook page.
Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.