PORTSMOUTH AP -- The Coast Guard says it has found one of the missing crew members of a tall ship that went down off the North Carolina coast, but she is unresponsive.
Lt. Mike Patterson said crews are taking 42-year-old Claudene Christian to the hospital. The Coast Guard is still searching for the captain of the HMS Bounty.
The ship began taking on water and the crew had to abandon it about 5 a.m. Monday in the rough waters churned up by Hurricane Sandy. The 14 other crew members were rescued.
A crew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter located Christian, hoisted her into the helicopter and took her to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City.
The vessel is reportedly sunk, but the mast is still visible, officials stated.
Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill says 14 people were rescued by two Coast Guard helicopters about 6:30 a.m. Monday and arrived at Air Station Elizabeth City around 10:30 a.m. None of the crew had life-threatening injuries.
The director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin, said that the tall ship left Connecticut last week for St. Petersburg, Fla. She said the crew had been in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center and tried to go around the storm.
Robert Hansen of Denver is Bounty’s owner. He said the captain was aware of the storm.
"I don't really question his judgment. He knows the ship, he's been captain of her for over 20 years, and nobody knows her better than him and I totally trusted his judgment, you know. He was heading way out east to try and go around it and we just don't know what happened yet," he said. "Kids that were on board, they took care of ship like it was their own. I've just spent my life rebuilding the ship to get it to where it is. We've saved her from literally the graveyard once and to have her go like this heart-wrenching,” said Hansen.