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14 rescued, 2 missing from tall ship off NC

Associated Press Modified: October 29, 2012 at 9:21 am •  Published: October 29, 2012

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — The Coast Guard rescued 14 members of a crew forced to abandon the tall ship HMS Bounty caught in Hurricane Sandy off the North Carolina Outer Banks and continued the search Monday for two other crew members.

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill said the crew members were rescued by two Coast Guard helicopters around 6:30 a.m. Monday. The survivors were being taken to Air Station Elizabeth City on the North Carolina coast. He had no immediate word on their conditions.

The director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin, said the tall ship had left Connecticut last week en route for St. Petersburg, Fla.

"They were staying in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center," she said. "They were trying to make it around the storm."

Hill said an MH60 Jayhawk helicopter from Elizabeth City, N.C., arrived at 6:30 a.m. and rescued nine crew members who had donned survival suits and boarded 25-foot life boats. They abandoned ship after the HMS Bounty began taking on water and lost propulsion in the storm. A second helicopter arrived a short time later and rescued 5 other members of the crew.

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