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Majestic tall ship sinks in hurricane; 14 rescued, 2 missing

October 29, 2012|By Michael Muskal

The Coast Guard said Monday it was searching for two crew members of the HMS Bounty, a three-masted tall ship that appeared in two Hollywood movies, after Hurricane Sandy sank the vessel in storm-churned waters off the coast of North Carolina. Fourteen were rescued.

The Bounty began taking on water Sunday and lost power about 90 miles off Hatteras, N.C. The Coast Guard said it was using a C-130 Hercules aircraft and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter to search the area for the two who were missing.

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The director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin, said the tall ship had left Connecticut last week en route to St. Petersburg, Fla.

“They were staying in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center,” she told The Associated Press. “They were trying to make it around the storm.”

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The first distress call from the ship came at 9 p.m. Sunday.

Coast Guard Vice Adm. Robert Parker, Operational Commander for the Atlantic Area, told ABC's “Good Morning America” that at the time of the distress call the ship was taking on two feet of water an hour. He said the crew abandoned ship into rubber life rafts with about 10 feet of water on board.

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By  6:30 a.m. Monday the first helicopter arrived at the scene and rescued nine crew members who had donned survival suits.  A second helicopter arrived a short time later and rescued five others.

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