A helicopter rescue operation was under way Monday for 17 people who abandoned the HMS Bounty as the ship was sinking off the coast of North Carolina, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The ship issued a distress signal late Sunday after taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said. The owner of the 180-foot, three mast ship — which was built for the 1962 Marlon Brando movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty” — lost communication with the crew and alerted the Coast Guard to the situation. The Coast Guard then received a distress signal from the ship showing its position. It sent out an aircraft to speak with the crew, which reported that the vessel was taking on water and had no propulsion. It was located about 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C.”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 earlier in a statement.