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A daring rescue amidst Hurricane Sandy

Last updated on: October 30, 2012 01:18 IST

A daring rescue amidst Hurricane Sandy

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A replica of the HMS Bounty, a three-masted sailing ship that has appeared in two Hollywood movies, caught in Hurricane Sandy's wrath has sunk, forcing the crew to abandon the boat in rough seas off the North Carolina coast.

The US Coast Guard rescued 14 crew members by helicopter, but two people were still missing.

Coast Guard rescue swimmer Randy Haba helped pluck several crew members off a 7.5-metre rubber life raft. He was also lowered to a crew member floating in the water alone. He wrapped a strap around his body, and raised him to the chopper. 

The HMS Bounty was reportedly sailing from Connecticut to St Petersburg, when it began taking on too much water and lost propulsion Sunday night.

The ship sent an emergency distress signal to the Coast Guard at about 9 p.m. Sunday. About two hours later, the HMS Bounty Organisation, which owns the ship, called the Coast Guard, confirming that it had lost radio contact with the vessel, according to the Coast Guard.

By 2 am Monday EDT, the Coast Guard had dispatched a C-130 aircraft to the scene to communicate directly with the ship's passengers. At 6:30 am Monday, the first Jayhawk helicopter arrived, and found that the passengers had abandoned the ship and boarded 25-foot lifeboats.

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Photographs: Courtesy US Coast Guard

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The Coast Guard said the passengers wore cold-water survival suits and life jackets and that the lifeboats had canopies.

Amid winds of 40 mph and 18-foot seas, rescuers were able to save most of the crew from the life boats about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill said.

The HMS Bounty is one of the most famous ships in the world. Known for the storied mutiny that took place in Tahiti in 1789 on board the British transport vessel, the current Bounty, a replica, had survived to tell the tale.

Built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando, HMS Bounty sails the country offering dockside tours in which one can learn about the history and details of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized time in maritime history.

Since her debut in Mutiny on the Bounty, HMS Bounty has appeared in many documentaries and featured films such as the Edinburgh Trader in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest with Johnny Depp. 

 




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