2 fishermen rescued after boat runs aground, begins taking on water

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CHARLESTON, S.C. – Coast Guard crews rescued two fishermen early Saturday morning after their 55-foot boat ran aground and began taking on water at the south tip of Jekyll Island, Ga.

Rescued are William Collins, 55, and Josh Carter, 25.

The men used a VHF-FM marine radio to report to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Charleston at 3:49 a.m. that the vessel, Little D, lost engine power before running aground in 3-foot breakers and was beginning to take on water.

As the watchstanders were attempting to gather more information, they lost communication with Collins and Carter.

They immediately directed the launch of a boat from Coast Guard Station Brunswick, Ga., and a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Savannah, Ga. Simultaneously, they learned the men had activated the Little D’s Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, confirming the vessel was in distress.

A Georgia state trooper who also assisted from shore drove to the nearest point of land to obtain visuals of the vessel, reporting before the Coast Guard boat arrived that the Little D was still intact with both men aboard.

The area was too shallow for the Station Brunswick boat to come alongside the Little D. The helicopter crew arrived on scene shortly after, hoisted Collins and Carter and took them to Jekyll Island Airport, where EMTs were waiting and determined the men were not in need of medical treatment.

Coast Guard pollution responders from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah are assessing the pollution threat. The Little D reportedly has about 300 gallons of diesel fuel on board, which does not appear to be leaking.

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