Coast Guard rescues three from sinking sailboat off Hatteras

By on May 17, 2019

A Coast Guard aircrew rescued three people from 41-foot sailboat that was sinking off Hatteras shortly after midnight Friday morning.

Watchstanders with Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in Wilmington received a distress call around 12 a.m from someone aboard a 41-foot sailboat taking on water 19 miles southeast of Hatteras Inlet.

The three people aboard were wearing life jackets and preparing to abandon ship. Watchstanders advised the mariners to grab the Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon and to only enter the water as a last resort.

The Coast Guard launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City and sent a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Hatteras Inlet.

Once on scene, the Jayhawk crew discovered that the water in the boat was knee-deep. The crew hoisted the three mariners from the sinking vessel and took them back to the air station as the sailboat sank.

“When an emergency arises underway, it’s vital to have a life jacket on,” said Lt. Amanda Faulkner, command duty officer at the 5th District command center. “These mariners were minutes away from entering the water in the middle of the night. Not having a life jacket might have cost them their lives.”

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Life Jackets save lives