WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Coast Guard rescued a 52-year-old man from a sinking boat 140 miles from Wilmington Saturday.
Fifth Coast Guard District watchstanders were alerted at 6:32 p.m. that the man had used his SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger to notify the International Emergency Response Center that his 32-foot Pearson sailboat Great Peace was taking on water and sinking.
An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, launched to assist. Upon arriving on scene, the Jayhawk crew hoisted the man from the sailboat, then transported him back to Air Station Elizabeth City.
“The more prepared boaters are, the easier our job becomes when they need our assistance,” said Coast Guard Lt. Daniel Reilly, pilot of the Jayhawk helicopter crew. “Because this individual was well-prepared and utilized his satellite GPS messenger right away, we were able to get to him in time.”