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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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14 rescued, 2 still missing after Hurricane sinks 'HMS Bounty'

The tall ship – a replica of the one made famous by its mutiny – sank off North Carolina after being caught in Hurricane Sandy.

A file photo of HMS Bounty, seen in better times.
A file photo of HMS Bounty, seen in better times.
Image: Mark Duncan/AP

A SEARCH is continuing for two crew members from the tall ship ‘HMS Bounty’ – a replica of the ship made famous by a mutiny in 1789 – after the boat sank in Hurricane Sandy.

14 people were rescued from life rafts after being forced to abandon the ship as it floundered during high winds earlier today.

The US Coast Guard said 14 people had been rescued this morning when two helicopters were able to rescue the crew from rubber life boats.

Those sailors are being treated by medical personnel in Elizabeth City in North Carolina.

A third helicopter crew has been continuing the search for the two crew members who did not make it onto the life boat, as well as a Lockheed C-130 Hercules military aircraft.

Those crews were able to locate the radio signal from the boat, built in 1960, which was taking on water and had no propulsive power.

The BBC quoted a coastguard commander who said the crew had been able to keep the boat afloat for most of last night, after it begin to take water, but the ship had to be abandoned at first light this morning.

The two missing crewmen are said to be wearing ‘survival suits’, which should be able to keep them afloat and warm for longer than a traditional lifejacket.

The ship is an exact replica of the original HMS Bounty, a merchant boat which was bought by Britain’s Royal Navy in order to run a botanical expedition to the Pacific Ocean.

The mission, captained by Lieutenant William Bligh, ended in revolt when the crew seized the vessel and evicted Bligh and several other sailors. The crew sailed for a further nine months, hoping to evade the chase of the Navy, before setting fire to the boat in January 1790.

Its wreck was discovered in 1957, leading to the modern replica being built in 1960 for use in a 1962 film about the mutiny. The boat was later used for shooting two of Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies.

The owners had been trying to sell the ship since mid 2010, however, and had toured it on both sides of the Atlantic hoping to find a buyer.

Read: Irish citizens advised not to travel to eastern US until Sandy passes

PHOTOS: New York battens down the hatches as Sandy approaches

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Gavan Reilly

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