According to the official HMS Bounty site, the ship's crew sent out a distress call Sunday night with the news that the Bounty had lost power and was taking on water faster than it could pump it out. The crew abandoned ship and, wearing special "Gumby suits," climbed into life rafts to await rescue.
Three of the 16 crew fell into the water during the transfer, and while one was pulled in, two are still missing.
A Coast Guard plane spotted the Bounty before she sank completely, and USCG swimmers on two helicopters were able to successfully rescue 14 of the ship's crew. The search for the missing people is reportedly ongoing.
"What we know is that the whole crew was getting ready to board the life rafts, and as they were about to board, three people ended up on the water. One was able to get out [of the water] and get into rafts, and the other two are still unaccounted," Lt. Junior Grade Brendan Selerno told ABCNews.com.
Update (6:30 p.m.): One of the missing crew has reportedly been found, unresponsive.
Coast Guard says missing crew member of tall ship that sank of NC found unresponsive; search continues for captain of HMS Bounty.— KFI NEWS (@KFINEWS) October 29, 2012
Watch, below, the dramatic video of the rescue Monday morning, amid howling wind and wild seas:
(Source: United States Coast Guard)