PORTSMOUTH, Va. (October 29, 2012)--The U.S. Coast Guard says the crew has abandoned a tall ship in distress off North Carolina's Outer Banks as Hurricane Sandy swirls toward the East Coast.
Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert said the 17 people aboard the HMS Bounty were in two lifeboats, wearing survival suits and life jackets.
Weydert says the Coast Guard is trying to determine whether to use cutters or helicopters to rescue the crew.
The ship was about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., when the ship's owner called saying she'd lost contact with the crew Sunday night.
The 180-foot, three-masted ship is a replica of one made famous in the film "Mutiny on the Bounty" and was featured in that movie.
Weydert says the ship has been which is taking on water and is without propulsion.