Coast Guard Rescues 14 ‘Bounty’ Sinking Victims
By Christopher Lagan
U.S. Coast Guard Compass Blog
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2012 During an Oct. 29 U.S. Coast Guard search-and-rescue operation associated with Hurricane Sandy, 14 people who'd abandoned the sinking HMS Bounty tall ship were rescued from life rafts in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C.
A Coast Guard rescue swimmer approaches one of two lifeboats Oct. 29, 2012, where the crew of HMS Bounty sought shelter after abandoning ship in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C. Screenshot from U.S. Coast Guard video
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The search continues for two people who remain missing from the Bounty’s crew.
The owner of the 180-foot, three-mast tall ship HMS Bounty, a replica of the original British transport vessel built for the 1962 film “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Marlon Brando, contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina after losing communication with the crew late Sunday evening.
The 5th Coast Guard District command center in Portsmouth, Va., subsequently received a signal from the emergency distress position indicating radio beacon registered to the Bounty confirming the distress and position.
A Coast Guard search airplane was launched from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., Sunday evening which established communication with the Bounty’s crew upon arriving on scene. The vessel was reportedly sinking in 18-foot seas accompanied by 40-mph winds.
By the time two Coast Guard rescue helicopters dispatched from the Elizabeth City station arrived on scene Oct. 29 at approximately 6:30 a.m., the 16 crew members had reportedly divided among two 25-man lifeboats and were wearing cold weather survival suits and life jackets. Air crews located and rescued 14 of the 16 crew members.
The HMS Bounty is reportedly sunk but the mast is still visible.
A Coast Guard search airplane and two rescue helicopters are searching for the two remaining crew members with Coast Guard Cutters Elm and Gallatin en route to assist with the search.