PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - The U.S. Coast Guard reports the body of one of two missing crew members from the tall ship HMS Bounty was recovered Monday.
The search is continuing at sea for Robin Walbridge, the ship's 63-year-old captain.
The crew abandoned the ship about 90 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras after the ship was caught in Hurricane Sandy.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Brandyn Hill said 14 crew members were rescued by two Coast Guard helicopters around 6:30 a.m. Monday. The survivors were being taken to Air Station Elizabeth City on the North Carolina coast. He had no immediate word on their conditions.
Coast Guard reports two crew members were reported missing, 42-year-old Claudene Christian and 63-year-old Robin Walridge. According to officials with the Coast Guard, Christian was recovered Monday and was in critical condition, but passed away Monday evening.
Claudia McCann, the wife of Captain Robin Walbridge, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that her husband is an experienced sailor who has been in many storms.
McCann says she last heard from her husband on Saturday in an email, when he assured her that he and the crew were prepared for the voyage.
The director of the HMS Bounty Organization, Tracie Simonin, said the tall ship left Connecticut last week en route for St. Petersburg, Fla.
"They were staying in constant contact with the National Hurricane Center," she said. "They were trying to make it around the storm."
Hill said an MH60 Jayhawk helicopter from Elizabeth City, N.C., arrived at 6:30 a.m. Monday and rescued nine crew members who had donned survival suits and boarded 25-foot life boats. They abandoned ship after the HMS Bounty began taking on water and lost propulsion in the storm. A second helicopter arrived a short time later and rescued five other members of the crew.
The rescue took place in winds of 40 mph and 18-foot seas about 90 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
The Coast Guard initially received a call from the owner of the 180-foot, three mast ship late Sunday evening, saying she had lost communication with the vessel's crew. The Coast Guard in Portsmouth, Va., later received a signal from the emergency position indicating radio beacon of the Bounty, confirming the position.
The HMS Bounty Organization website said the ship was built for the 1962 film "Mutiny on the Bounty," which starred Marlin Brando. The ship was also used in the film "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."
Winds in the area were about 40 mph and seas were 18', according to the Coast Guard. The ship was about 160' west of the eye of Hurricane Sandy when it went into distress.
This is a replica of the original ship, which according to the Royal Naval Museum was built at Hull in 1784 .
Stay with WAVY.com for more on this developing story.
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