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Hurricane Sandy Takes Life of Former Hermosan

The 42-year-old woman was a sailor on the HMS Bounty, which went down off the coast of North Carolina amid the hurricane.

Hurricane Sandy has claimed the life of a former Hermosa Beach resident, according to several media outlets. Claudene Christian, who was working as one of 16 sailors crewing the tall ship HMS Bounty, was a partner in Dragon Bar, a now closed Hermosa business, according to the Mercury News report. Watermans Safe House for Surfers now occupies the space where Dragon Bar was.

Christian, 42, along with the ship's captain Robin Walbridge, did not make it into either of two lifeboats the remaining 14 sailors managed to get into as their ship sank about 160 miles from the center of the storm off the coast of North Carolina Monday around 6:30 a.m. The vessel was reportedly sinking in 18-foot seas accompanied by 40-mph winds, according to a U.S. Coast Guard blog.

Christian was found unresponsive in the ocean and her rescuers performed CPR. She was hoisted to an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and taken to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City, according to a U.S. Coast Guard news release. 

Christian is a graduate of the University of Southern California, a former Miss Teen Alaska and the creator of “Cheerleader Dolls.” She was sued by Mattel in 1996 for an alleged copyright infringement, according to a report from the Sequoyah County Times, and the next 10 years of her life provided countless lows and highs as reported in the article

Here's a U.S. Coast Guard timeline related to the sinking of the HMS Bounty and USCG efforts to rescue its crew. 

The 180-foot, three-masted ship, a replica of the one made famous in the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty" starring Marlon Brando, was on its way from New London, Conn., to St. Petersburg, Fla. 

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