More than a dozen members of a Nova Scotia-built replica vessel have abandoned ship off the coast of North Carolina after getting caught in the high seas brought on by Hurricane Sandy.
Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard told CBC News the crew of HMS Bounty decided to abandon ship after getting caught in 5.5-metre seas off Cape Hatteras on Monday.
The ship sank several hours after the evacuation.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Campbell, with the U.S. Coast Guard, said 16 crew members of the tall ship managed to get on board two life-rafts.
"We have two H-60 helicopters en route to attempt to hoist the 16 people on board the helicopters and bring them back to shore,"
Campbell told CBC News on Monday morning. As of 9:15 a.m. AT, a U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter had hoisted five crew members from the life-rafts.
Campbell said officials were still trying to determine exactly how many crew members were on board. The Coast Guard was originally told 17 people were on the Bounty but only 16 heat signatures were detected.