The HMS Bounty, that 180 foot three-masted replica sailing ship, has starred in many a Hollywood blockbuster, but none was more dramatic than the real-life drama on board it in the last 36 hours.
One crew member is dead, the Captain missing and presumed drowned, but the Coast Guard did manage to rescue 14 crewmembers from the chilly Atlantic Ocean waters.
The Bounty is now at the bottom of the sea.
The ship had been sailing down from Connecticut to its home base in St. Petersburg, Florida when it got caught up in the Hurricane Sandy off the coast of North Carolina.
“We got a call from the owner who said they’d lost communication with the vessel and they were taking on water,” said Vice Admiral Robert Parker, with the Coast Guard. “Eventually they abandoned ship with 10 feet of water on deck.”
The ship was sinking near the eye of Hurricane Sandy but that didn’t stop the Coast Guard rescue team from attempting a rescue.
Rescue swimmer, Daniel Todd, fought off waves ranging from 18 to 30 feet high.
“Being down there in those waves is more like being in a washing machine,” Todd told the Today Show.
The rescuers pulled the crew up by basket, one by one.
The baskets presented their own unique problems, some swinging in the winds. Fourteen made it into the two rescue helicopters.
One of the missing Captain’s last onboard Facebook posts insisted “A ship is safer at sea than in port.” Unfortunately, that wasn’t true this time.
The HMS Bounty was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty,” and appeared in countless other films set on the high seas including one of Johhny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies.
Watch dramatic video of the Coast Guard rescue.