Elizabeth City, NC – Hurricane Sandy has sunk a replica of the HMS Bounty off the North Carolina coast Monday. 14 crew members have been rescued but two are still missing.
After leaving Connecticut last week en route to St. Petersberg, Florida the ship went down off the North Carolina coast after failing to maneuver around the storm. The US Coast Guard was able to rescue 14 people by helicopter Monday morning but as of this report two crew members are still missing.
Tracie Simonin, director of the HMS Bounty Organization explained, “They were staying in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center … They were trying to make it around the storm.”
The owner of the HMS Bounty initially contacted the Coast Guard late Sunday evening to report that communication with the crew had been lost. Later the Portsmouth, Virginia Coast Guard received an emergency distress call directly from the crew and was able to confirm the ship’s position. At that time the crew reported they were taking on two feet of water an hour.
After water levels reached 10 feet the crew abandoned ship. Battling 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas, most of the crew had made it onto life rafts when the Coast Guard arrived by helicopter at 6:30 am Monday to rescue survivors. As of 1 pm EST the Coast Guard is employing helicopters and an airplane to search for the two missing crew members.
The HMS Bounty replica sunk today by Hurricane Sandy had undergone a multi-million dollar restoration in 2002. The 180-foot, three-mast ship was made famous by films such as Mutiny on the Bounty and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.