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The ship sank several hours after the evacuation.

The ship is in heavy seas off the Carolinas. There are 17 on board. The Coast Guard is in contact.

An air crew arrived on the scene and regained contact with the ship, which has 17 people aboard, after receiving a signal from the emergency position indicated beacon registered to the Bounty.

"The vessel is reportedly taking on water and is without propulsion. The Coast Guard is continuing to monitor the Bounty's situation," said the US Coast Guard.

There are 40mph winds and 18ft waves reported at the scene, which is 90 miles southeast of Hatteras in North Carolina.

IMGP0817 HMS Bounty and Porter Q400

There are conflicting accounts as is normal in such stories. This was a school ship out to sea for training.

Petty Officer 1st Class Jordan Campbell, with the U.S. Coast Guard, told CBC News the 16-member crew of the tall ship HMS Bounty 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 said Monday morning.

The crew decided to abandon ship after getting caught in 5.5-metre seas off Cape Hatteras and the U.S. Coast Guard dispatched a Hercules C-130 aircraft to try to get the crew to safety.

Her last position: N 34°22' W 074°15'

Originally posted to Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 04:26 AM PDT.

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