Sandy has gone down in history as the biggest Atlantic hurricane to date. The Coast Guard is investigating whether there is anyone to blame for the sinking of the Bounty.
Gina Christian, Claudene's mother, is sitting in front of a cup of cold black coffee, in a bleak bar between a gas station, a truck stop and a cemetery. "The crew told me she was … not scared at all," says Christian, a short woman with soft features and her blonde hair pinned up. "I didn't believe that."
The Bounty had already sailed from the harbor in New London when Gina heard from her daughter for the last time. She was sitting in her SUV in the drive-through lane at a fast-food restaurant. "Can I take your order?" a voice asked through a loudspeaker. Gina's phone rang at the same time.
"Can I call you back, honey?" Gina asked. "No, no, no," Claudene shouted, sounding distraught. "I might lose my phone service. We're already out in the water. I got to tell you how much I love you and dad." "Why are you saying it like that?" Gina asked. "I just want you to know," Claudene replied. "We know," answered Gina. "Now hang up," Claudene said. "I'm going to call back, but don't answer it. I'm going to leave you a message."
Gina Christian is holding her iPhone in both hands. She still hasn't listened to it yet.
Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan