---- — A replica of the HMS Bounty that visited Newburyport and Gloucester this summer has reportedfly sunk in stormy seas off the coast of North Carolina.
The Bounty was about 90 miles off Cape Hatteras when 17 people abandoned ship as it began taking on water, said Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert. A helicopter rescue effort was underway this morning.
The Coast Guard was trying to determine whether to use cutters or helicopters to rescue the crew, who are in two lifeboats and are wearing survival suits and life jackets, he added.
"The 17 person crew donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies," the Coast Guard said in a statement.
The ship issued a distress signal late Sunday after taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The 180-foot three-master was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando version of the "Mutiny on the Bounty." It has also been used in other films, including one of Johnny Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies.
The ship visited Newburyport in July and Gloucester in September.