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Sprague said her daughter told her the ship’s diesel engines failed, and then it started taking on water.
The crew was eager to return to St. Petersburg — and to calmer waters.
"I know they were very much looking forward to being here," said Carol Everson, general manager of the pier where the vessel docks. "They were very excited about coming down."
The Bounty’s captain, Robin Walbridge, was from St. Petersburg, she said.
Wallbridge learned to sail at age 10, according to his biography on the Bounty’s website. Prior to the Bounty, he served as first mate on the H.M.S. Rose — the Bounty’s sister ship.
A man who answered the door at a home listed as being owned by the captain and his wife said: "Not a good time," and closed the door.
Foster said the city on Florida’s Gulf Coast always considered itself the ship’s home.
"We’re feeling a real sense of loss as a community," he said. "We grew up with the Bounty."
Foster, who was raised in St. Petersburg, remembered the ship as a family tourist attraction along the waterfront in the 1960s and 1970s. He recalled replicas of caves, a history display and pirate-themed exhibits near the Bounty. As a teenager, he attended dances on the ship.
About 10 years ago, the ship underwent a multimillion-dollar restoration.
The ship generally travels in the spring and summer. In August, large crowds greeted it when sailing into St. Augustine, Fla., Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.
Associated Press writers Bruce Smith in Charleston, S.C.; Tamara Lush in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Greg Schreier in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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