As Hurricane Sandy hit the South Carolina's today, the unfortunate HMS Bounty - a replica of one of the most famous ships in the world - has had to be rescued 160 miles from the eye of the hurricane, and its 17 strong crew airlifted to safety after 40 mph winds and 18 ft. waves overcame the boat.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a call from the owner of the 180 ft. HMS Bounty, seen here in quieter times, saying she had lost communication with the vessel's crew late on Sunday evening. An air crew arrived on the scene and regained contact with the ship, after receiving a signal from the emergency position, which indicated the beacon registered to the Bounty.

Elsewhere, Sandy, a Category 1-hurricane, seen here in a time-lapse animation, courtesy of NASA, is currently about 380 miles southeast of New York City - with winds of about 85 mph - and it is gathering speed on its trail as well. Authorities are warning New York could get hit with an 11 ft. wall of water that could swamp parts of lower Manhattan, flood subway tunnels and cripple the network of electrical and communications lines that are vital to the nation's financial centre.

The eye of the storm, spreading hundreds of miles across, is expected to land across the coast of Mid-Atlantic States by tonight, according to the National Hurricane Centre. And experts have added that no matter how strong it is when it hits land, the rare hybrid, monster storm - dubbed "Frankenstorm" - will cause havoc over 800 miles from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

Written and presented by Ann Salter.