Coast Guard rescues five people from water after boat takes on water, capsizes

Posted at 2:57 PM, Jul 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-23 16:19:33-04

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Coast Guard rescued five people after a boat capsized eight miles off Topsail Island.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington received a mayday call on Sunday just before 10 a.m.

Watchstanders received a call a couple of minutes later that the boat had capsized and five people were in the water.

Three of the people were wearing life jackets. Two were sitting on the capsized boat’s hull.

Crews issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted an already-airborn HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City. They launched two response boats from Station Wrightsville Beach at about 10 a.m.

The Hercules crew arrived at 10:35 a.m. and dropped rescue gear and a flare to mark the boat’s position.

The response boat-small crew pulled all five people from the water and transferred them to the response boat-medium by 11:15 a.m.

They were brought back to the station and met by an EMS team by about 12:40 p.m.

Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach salvaged the capsized vessel.

“This is a perfect example of how vital it is to not only make sure you have life jackets on board, but also that they are readily available in case of an emergency,” said Stephen Sawyer, Sector North Carolina command duty officer for the case. “This situation also illustrates how important it is to work closely with our local partners. Pender County 911 relayed critical information to us about the vessel’s position that helped us reach the people quickly.”