Oct 29, 2012 / 6:34 am
The crew of a Canadian-built tall ship in distress off North Carolina's coast abandoned the vessel amid surging waves as Hurricane Sandy swirled toward the U.S. East Coast, the Coast Guard said Monday.
The 17 people aboard the HMS Bounty got into two lifeboats, wearing survival suits and life jackets, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert said.
The ship, constructed at Smith and Ruhland Shipyard in Lunenburg, N.S., was taking on water and had no propulsion.
The Coast Guard was trying to determine whether to use cutters or helicopters to rescue the crew, Weydert said.
The ship is a replica of the one made famous in the 1960 MGM film "Mutiny on the Bounty," and it was used in that film. The ship was also used in the film "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Winds of 64 kilometres per hour and 5.5-metre waves were reported at the ship, about 144 kilometres offshore.
The Coast Guard initially received a call from the owner of the tall ship, HMS Bounty, late Sunday evening, saying she had lost communication with the vessel's crew.
The Coast Guard later received a signal from the emergency position indicating radio beacon of the Bounty, confirming the position.
An air crew from North Carolina sent an HC-130 Hercules aircraft that established communications with the Bounty's crew.
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