Rescue off Hatteras

Still image from USCG video

The Coast Guard rescued three adults and a 15-year-old from a sinking sailing vessel Thursday approximately 98 miles from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

The 41-foot sailboat Rojodan crew contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina at approximately 6 p.m. Wednesday, stating that they had lost the use of both their engines and jib. The Coast Guard was unable to tow the vessel because of the distance from shore and weather conditions with wind gusts up to 40 knots and sea swells up to 8 feet.

A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew responded and hoisted the four mariners from the vessel that had begun taking on water.

“These mariners were sailing prepared with a satellite phone which made way for a successful rescue,” said Stephen Sawyer, Sector North Carolina command duty officer. “Vessels that travel over 20 miles offshore should ensure they have an alternate method of communication equipment beyond a VHF radio, such as an HF radio or satellite phone.”

The mariners were transported to Air Station Elizabeth City where they were given dry clothing and transportation to a local hotel. There were no reported injuries.

By Tim Queeney