NATIONAL NEWS (CNN) — Crew members of a tall ship used for classic adventure films faced a harrowing real life drama Monday as Hurricane Sandy forced them to abandon ship about 90 miles off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Fighting waves towering 18 feet high, and winds of 40 mph, the group of 17 from the HMS Bounty has boarded two lifeboats hoping for rescue as soon as possible, the Coast Guard said Monday.
The Coast Guard said it has "diminished search and rescue capabilities" as the Category 1 hurricane batters the U.S. East Coast.
More sea rescues prompted by Sandy were reported in Delaware Bay.
Wearing special cold-weather survival suits, crew members were awaiting rescue Monday in lifeboats designed to hold twenty-five people.
The boats also have canopies to help shelter them somewhat from Sandy's pelting rain and winds.
The Coast Guard received an emergency call from the ship's owner Sunday after the 80 foot, three masted vessel lost power and started taking on water, the Coast Guard said.
Rescuers picked up an emergency locator beacon from the vessel and an HC-130 aircraft was dispatched to the area, where the plane made contact with the crew.
The Bounty was used in the making of 1962's "Mutiny on the Bounty," starring Marlon Brando, as well as "Treasure Island," and "Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest," reports CNN affiliate WTKR-TV .