Coast Guard, partner agencies rescue 5 from capsized boat off Carolina Beach, NC

60 Elizabeth CityWILMINGTON, N.C. — Coast Guard and partner agencies rescued five people Saturday from a capsized vessel about three miles off the coast of Carolina Beach.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington received a mayday call at approximately 7:30 a.m.  requesting help.

Multiple agency assets launched to conduct search and rescue patterns:

-A C-130 Hercules aircraft crew and MH-60 Jayhawk Helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

-A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium (RBM) crew from Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach.

-A 29-foot Response Boat-Small (RBS) crew from Coast Guard Station Oak Island.

-16-foot skiff from Kure Beach Fire and Rescue.

-A vehicle and jet ski from Carolina Beach Fire Department.

The helicopter crew discovered a capsized 20-foot boat about three miles offshore at approximately 9:50 a.m. The helicopter crew hoisted three people from the hull and took them to New Hanover Regional Hospital in Wilmington. While in en route, the hoisted survivors confirmed there were still two people swimming for shore.

At approximately 12:30 p.m. the Coast Guard 45-foot RBM crew located the two people in the water and pulled them aboard. They were taken to Station Wrightsville Beach and transferred to awaiting EMS personnel. 

“It was definitely a case that shows our search and rescue system works, from our Rescue 21 system to working with our local partner agencies and coast guard assets,” said Chief Petty Officer Chris Martinez, command duty officer at Sector North Carolina. “I’d like to thank Station Wrightsville Beach and Air Station Elizabeth City for rescuing those aboard and in the water, Kure Beach Fire and Rescue and Carolina Beach Fire Department for their support and the Sector North Carolina watch team for coordinating the search and rescue.” 

The search covered 613 square nautical miles and took over four hours.

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