Portsmouth, Va. — The Coast Guard and good Samaritans rescued four people after their 28-foot pleasure craft, sank in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 50 miles southeast of Beaufort Inlet near Beaufort, N.C., Thursday.
An emergency position indicating radio beacon alerted Coast Guard 5th District watchstanders of a distress situation aboard the Attitude Adjuster at approximately 10:45 a.m. giving the vessel’s location and contact information.
5th District watchstanders called the phone number registered to the EPIRB and spoke with the owner’s wife who confirmed that her husband had gone fishing that morning and left from Beaufort Inlet for a fishing trip offshore.
Watchstanders then dispatched crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., and a 47-foot Motor Life Boat from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon, N.C., to assist.
While en route to the scene, the good Samaritan crew of the fishing vessel Sea Lion contacted and informed the Coast Guard that all four people had been recovered and were aboard the Sea Lion.
“The EPIRB was the key ingredient that helped save people’s lives today,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Jones III. “Since the EPIRB was properly registered, it not only provided their exact position, but also provided the owner’s name and contact information which we used to confirm the distress and notify the man’s family.”
The men aboard the Attitude Adjuster were not even aware their vessel was sinking until after their EPIRB started broadcasting and other boaters in the area contacted them to inquire if they needed assistance. At that point, the crew of the Attitude Adjuster investigated the cause of the EPIRB activation and found their vessel was taking on water. The crew then donned their lifejackets and were taken aboard the Sea Lion.
The four people were then transferred aboard the Coast Guard MLB and taken back to shore.