Coast Guard rescues 4 abandoning ship 172 miles off N.C.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., hoisted four people from a sailing vessel, 172 miles east of Wilmington, Friday.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received notification at 9:15 a.m. that the 50-foot sailboat Kekoa was coming apart and taking on water.

A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircraft rescue crew from Air Station Elizabeth City arrived on scene at 10:53 a.m. to provide aerial coverage for the four survivors in 20-25 foot seas until an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew arrived.

The helicopter rescue crew hoisted all four people from their life raft and transported them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. All four people are listed in good condition.

All survivors were wearing personal flotation devices, activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon and used a satellite phone and VHF radio.

The Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Broadcast to inform other boaters of the vessel adrift.

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