A crew member whose body was found after the HMS Bounty sunk in hurricane Sandy off the North Carolina coast was a local woman who attended USC and co-owned a defunct Hermosa Beach bar.

Claudene Christian's body was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard yesterday afternoon after the vessel, a Hollywood replica of the 18th century tall ship known for its mutinous legend, went down.

According to her Facebook page …

… she lived and worked on the Bounty. She called her fellow crew members …

Credit: Claudene Christian / Facebook

Credit: Claudene Christian / Facebook

… a new generation of Christian Family Sailors! This ship has been used in MANY Movies, including the 1962 version of “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Marlin Brando & the two most recent Pirates of the Carribean movies starring Johnny Depp.

The Bounty was built in 1962 specifically for the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty; indeed it was later used in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

According to Christian's Twitter account the 42-year-old joined the Bounty in May, when she called it “My new home 4 a few yrs!”

Her LinkedIn page says she was a partner at Hermosa Beach's Dragon Bar and ran a concern, Cheerleader Doll Company, that made officially licensed dolls dressed as real university cheer squad members.

She lived in a Manhattan Beach apartment in the late '90s, according to Fox 11 News, which interviewed and old neighbor last night.

5 News Online in Oklahoma reported that Christian's parents are from Vian, Oklahoma and were planning on traveling to North Carolina as soon as they could.

The Bounty.; Credit: USGS

The Bounty.; Credit: USGS

Her aunt, Patricia Saulsberry, told the station that Christian was believed to have been in the water for as many as 10 hours when she was pulled from the sea and given CPR unsuccessfully.

The Coast Guard told the Weekly Christian was wearing a life jacket and an ocean survival suit that Associated Press was built to allow users to survive for as many as 15 hours.

With hurricane Sandy looming the ship set off on Oct. 25, apparently from Wilmington, with crew hoping to navigate around it, according to the Bounty's Facebook page.

On Sunday night generators failed and it started things started to go awry. By Monday morning the crew abandoned ship and it mostly sunk. Fourteen of 16 people aboard were found alive in a life raft and rescued by the Coast Guard.

Bounty down.; Credit: USGS

Bounty down.; Credit: USGS

It's believed that the sole, outstanding member at large is the ship's captain, Robin Walbridge.

Two days into the Bounty's voyage, on Oct. 27, he apparently posted this on Facebook:

Rest assured that the Bounty is safe and in very capable hands.

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…


[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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