The crew aboard the HMS Bounty 90 miles southeast of Hatteras N.C., in the Atlantic Ocean had to abandon ship, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Fourteen members crew were rescued from open water early Monday, while a few still remain missing.
The Coast Guard’s news release stated the life-jacket-wearing crew boarded two life boats among 18-foot seas with 40 mile per hour winds.
The Associated Press reported the crew being composed of 16 members, two of which remained missing. But the Facebook page for the ship says the crew included 17, meaning three would still be unaccounted for. The rescue took place at 6:30 a.m. Monday.
The director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin, said that the tall ship left Connecticut last week for St. Petersburg, Fla. She said the crew had been in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center and tried to go around the storm. The Coast Guard’s news release stated that the ship lost communication late Sunday evening, but it was reestablished by the air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft, which was dispatched at the ship’s distress call.
According to the Facebook page, this was the last communication from Capt. Robin Walbridge on Sunday:
Good evening Miss TracieI think we are going to be into this for several days, the weater looks like even
after the eye goes by it will linger for a couple of daysWe are just going to keep trying to go fast and squeese by the storm and land as
fast as we can.I am thinking that we will pass each other sometime Sunday night or Monday morningAll else is well
According to the HMS Bounty’s website (via Business Insider), it is a replica of the 1789 British transport vessel that has a rumored mutiny surrounding it. The Bounty has been featured in documentaries and other films such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” The ship usually “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.”
Update: Bounty is reported to have broken up in the storm claiming the life of one crew member. The captain of the ship remains missing.
Editor’s Note: This is a breaking story and the details differ on some accounts. We will update if more up-to-date numbers become available.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.