Eisenhower High School graduate Drew Salapatek was looking forward to weekend festival in Florida but got caught by Hurricane Sandy's wind and rain. Natalie Martinez spoke with his father.
A Blue Island native was among 14 people rescued Monday by the Coast Guard after their ship, the famed HMS Bounty, went down in hurricane-ravaged waters.
Drew Salapatek, 29, and the others who were rescued haven't yet spoken publicly of the ill-fated voyage that left one crew member dead and another missing.
"I think right now they're just kind of decompressing," Salapatek's father, Jim Salapatek, said Tuesday afternoon from his TV shop in the far south suburb. "These crew members become family. They become a real tight knit. ... Right now they're suffering."
After two years aboard the HMS Bounty, Drew Salapatek was looking forward to rounding out this sailing season at a festival this weekend in Florida. But the ill-fated ship went down early Monday morning 90 miles off the North Carolina coast. The crew's course was a well-charted one, and they were trying to maneuver around Hurricane Sandy, but didn't make it.
The tall ship's Facebook page kept a virtual log of the trip that everyone board knew would be treacherous but navigable.
"One of Bounty's generators has failed....they are taking on more water than they would like," read a post from Sunday.
"As the water rose it took the other generator out and killed the batteries, killed the engines. They had no propulsion. Otherwise they would have made it," Jim Salapatek explained.
Aside from the younger Salapatek, the Coast Guard identified those rescued as Daniel Cleveland, 25; John Svendsen, 41; Matthew Sanders, 37; Adam Prokosh, 27; Douglas Faunt, 66; John Jones, 29; Joshua Scornavacchi, 25; Anna Sprague, 20; Mark Warner, 33; Christopher Barksdale, 56; Laura Groves, 28; Jessica Hewitt, 25; and Jessica Black, 34.
Claudene Christian, 42, was found hours later, unresponsive. She was taken to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City, N.C., where she was pronounced dead, spokesman Patrick Detwiler said.
Capt. Robin Walbridge, 63, of St. Petersburg, Fla., was still missing Tuesday. The Coast Guard says he could still be alive in his survival suit in the warm waters.
The HMS Bounty was originally built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando, and it was featured in several other films over the years, including one of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.