WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Coast Guard is responding to the crew of the tall ship HMS Bounty, which has sunk off the coast of North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
The ship is a replica of the original Bounty and has been featured in movies, including “Mutiny on the Bounty” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” It visited Wilmington earlier this year.
The Coast Guard says 14 crew members are safe and accounted for.
During a phone interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Operational Commander for the Atlantic Area, said the Coast Guard got a call from the owner of the Bounty around 9:45 p.m. that the ship was taking on two feet of water per hour off the Outer Banks. He said the crew abandoned ship into canopied, rubber life rafts with about 10 feet of water on board. The Coast Guard said the crew was wearing cold-water survival suits.
Parker said there is some question whether there were 16 or 17 people on board. He said two H-60 helicopters hoisted survivors from the rafts. One helicopter brought on nine crew members. The other brought on five survivors. That means there are two or three members of the crew still unaccounted for.
“We certainly hope for the best, but we’re preparing for the worst,” Vice Adm. Parker said.