PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Hurricane Sandy's powerful thrust claimed a famous ship off the coast of North Carolina.
Angry seas churned beneath Coast Guard helicopters as they plucked fourteen crew members to safety from life boats. The high waves and strong winds claimed the HMS Bounty, a large wooden ship.
"It really is unbelievable that it is not with us anymore. I am still trying to digest it, it doesn't make any sense to me," explained Patrick Miles.
As a former crew member, Miles spent four months on board HMS Bounty earlier this year, sailing and giving tours in English and Spanish. He has been in contact with others from the crew.
"They are all very upset because of the boat and because of the other two people," he said.
The ship was on its way from Connecticut to St. Petersburg, Florida. It had traveled the world and had made stops in Palm Beach County, including at Peanut Island.
The rare 450-ton wooden vessel was modeled a third larger than the original, built in the late 1700s for British admiralty.
HMS Bounty has been used in movies like Marlon Brando's "Mutiny on the Bounty."
As the stories go, Miles explains, the 1962 movie's creators wanted to set the ship ablaze at the end of filming, to be destroyed as in the original story.
"Marlon Brando refused to finish the movie if they burnt the ship down," Miles said.
The ship, at 180 feet long and 150 feet tall, provided a rare and memorable experience for those on board.
"It is quite something - you are out there during the day and also at night - seeing the stars and getting rained on and being way up in the rigging, 115 feet off the water," he said.
With a few modifications, Miles said, the HMS Bounty was treated as true to tradition as possible.
"It was sailed the same way, the captain actually used a sextant to follow the stars and sail the ship that way, and we all climbed up the rigging and back down to raise the sails and lower the sails," he said.
Now, in constant contact with his friends who know the ship and her crew, Miles waits and hopes that the two missing are found safe.
"I was very confident in the ship, so I feel like they would have been very confident in the ship," he said.
While Hurricane Sandy continues its approach, the Coast Guard works hard to search the churning waters.
"I still try to deal with it because the ship is a legend, and legends don't die," Miles said.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Click here to see the latest mugshots in Palm Beach County
Click here to see the latest mugshots in St. Lucie County.
Get the latest updates, photos and video from the devastation in Moore, Okla. Also, see how to help.
Latest News Stories
She has visited one of the darkest places a woman can go. Julie Weil was kidnapped, raped and tortured. She turned her story into lessons for other women and she took on Washington D.C. too.