Crew of replica of Bligh's ship take to liferafts

The crew of HMS Bounty, a replica of William Bligh’s ship from his ill-fated voyage to Tahiti in 1789, have abandoned ship after being caught off the coast of North Carolina by Hurricane Sandy.

A director of the HMS Bounty Organisation said that

the ship began to experience difficulties on Sunday when it lost power. The US Coastguard reported that the ship was taking on water. The ship was apparently unable to continue ‘de-watering’.

‘At that time we contacted the US coastguard for assistance,’ she said. ‘All 17 crew were accounted for in the liferafts and a US coastguard helicopter is on the scene rescuing them now.’

She added: ‘As far as we know the ship is still upright and

we’re going to assess the situation to see if anything can be done to

save the ship but at this point our main concern is with the crew.’

 The US Coast Guard reported that ‘On scene weather is reported to be 40 mph winds and 18-foot seas.  The vessel is approximately 160 miles west of the eye of hurricane Sandy.’