Coast Guard, Navy respond to 3 distressed sailboats off Va., NC coasts

Mid Atlantic Coast Guard News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Coast Guard assets and the Navy cruiser USS Vella Gulf are responding Thursday to alerts from three sailboats more than 200 miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.

Coast Guard Fifth District watchstanders received two alerts via a satellite tracking device and a third alert via an emergency position indicating radio beacon, each from a separate sailboat.

Two of the vessels are 230 and 275 miles east of Virginia Beach, and the third vessel is 230 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C.

Watchstanders launched crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and are preparing to launch an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.

The watchstanders also contacted the Navy who diverted the USS Vella Gulf toward the location of the two northern sailboats, and they issued an alert via the automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue system for any vessels in the area to assist.

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