Update, 3:50 p.m. EDT: As the U.S. Coast Guard continues their search for the two missing crewmembers of the HMS Bounty, the service said it appears the ship has sunk. Video of the rescue has been released and shows the tremendous job undertaken to rescue the crew.
The Coast Guard said that only mast of the 160 foot long ship is above water now. It is still unknown why the ship had not entirely avoided Hurricane Sandy.
A C-130 Hercules and two Jayhawk helicopters are continuing to search for the two missing crewmembers. Coast Guard Cutters Elm and Gallatin are now making their way to assist with the search and rescue efforts.
Video released by the Coast Guard shows the heroic efforts taken by the aircrew and rescue swimmers to save the Bount’s crew. Click here to watch.
Update, 10:00 a.m. EDT: The U.S. Coast Guard said that helicopters had reached the HMS Bounty and rescued 14 of the 16 crewmembers. Two crewmembers are missing.
The service said that two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters arrived off the North Carolina coast Monday morning to rescue the crew. One aircraft picked up five, the other nine.
A C-130 aircraft is remaining on site and conducting a search for the two missing crewmembers. A third Jayhawk crew is en route to aid in the search and rescue efforts.
No update was provided on the status of the vessel itself.
Original story, 9:30 a.m. EDT: The crew of a replica of the infamous HMS Bounty was forced to abandon ship after taking on water off the North Carolina coast. The tall ship was being battered by Hurricane Sandy and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the ship’s distress call.
According to a statement from the Coast Guard, the service received a call from the ship’s owner saying they had lost contact with the vessel Sunday evening. A command center in Portsmouth was then able to pick up the ship’s emergency beacon and establish its position 90 miles southeast of Hatteras.
The vessel was taking on water and without propulsion when the 17 person crew abandoned ship. Donning survival suits and life vests the crew escaped on two 25-man lifeboats.
At the time the crew escaped the vessel was being buffeted by the effects of Hurricane Sandy with 18 foot seas and 40 mph winds.
An HC-130 Hercules was dispatched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City and established contact with the crew. The Coast Guard said they were assessing conditions to determine when it would be safe to send aircraft or surface ships to rescue the crew.
No details were available as to why the Bounty was at sea in a monstrous storm that had been forecast long before to move through the area.
The Bounty was built by MGM film studio for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty which retold the story of the 1789 mutiny aboard HMS Bounty. The 180-foot long, 3 mast vessel has had numerous owners and is reportedly for sale. It was one of the ships shown in the movies “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”
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