The US Coast Guard rescued 14 people from the 180-foot sailing ship HMS Bounty on Monday, with two crew members still missing.
The boat lost power and was taking on water after being battered by Hurricane Sandy. It had moved to within 160 miles of the storm's eye.
The alarm was raised after the owner lost communication with the crew.
It’s understood that the 16-strong crew donned cold-water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies.
The US Coastguard said in a statement: “The Coast Guard rescued 14 people from life rafts in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras N.C [North Carolina], Monday, and two people remain missing.
“Watchstanders dispatched crews aboard two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., to rescue the crew.
“The first Jayhawk crew arrived on scene at approximately 6:30 a.m. and hoisted five people into the aircraft, and a second helicopter arrived and rescued nine people.
“The 14 people are being flown to Air Station Elizabeth City where they will be met by awaiting emergency medical services personnel.”
The ship, a replica of the 18th century Bounty, was left stricken in 40mph winds and among 18-foot waves.
It has appeared in numerous documentaries and hit movies, including Johnny Depp’s Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.