Coast Guard frees, dewaters entangled fishing vessel near Oregon Inlet, NC

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, helps dewater and free the 50-foot, commercial fishing vessel Big Kahuna near Oregon Inlet Feb. 1, 2018. Big Tahuna initially lost power and drifted into a navigational aid, causing it to get hung up and take on water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Ryan Sexton/Released)

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, helps dewater and free the 50-foot, commercial fishing vessel Big Kahuna near Oregon Inlet Feb. 1, 2018.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Ryan Sexton)

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard responded to a vessel taking on water near Oregon Inlet Thursday.

The crew aboard the 50-foot commercial fishing vessel Big Tahuna called watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington via VHF-FM channel 16 at about 3:50 p.m., indicating they were taking on water just inside Bonner Bridge.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew launched from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet and arrived on scene to discover Big Tahuna had lost power and drifted into a navigational aid, causing it to entangle and take on water. Two Coast Guard members brought a dewatering pump aboard Big Tahuna to control the flooding.

The Coast Guard was able to free the flooded vessel from the navigational aid and tow it to Bayliss Harbor in Wanchese where it underwent an emergency haul out at Bayliss Boatworks.

“We were glad to be able to offer assistance to the crew of Big Tahuna,” said Fireman Ryan Sexton, an engineer that helped tow the boat to safety. “Once a vessel becomes disabled, things can go wrong quickly. Luckily this happened in a location where we could respond in a short amount of time.”

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