Good Samaritian rescues 5 off Cape Lookout

5th Coast Guard District News
FORT MACON, N.C. — Five people were rescued by a good Samaritan 10 miles southwest of Cape Lookout at 10:55 a.m. Friday.

The five men were in the water, clinging to their boat for approximately 22-hours before being rescued by Mark Forester aboard his boat, Blucifer.

Rescued were Chul Lee, Byung Park, Ung Chong, Ku Changu, and Ung Sik James, from Fayetteville, N.C., who had departed New River Inlet Thursday morning for a day of fishing. They reportedly were anchored approximately 14 miles off New River Inlet when the seas began to worsen. While attempting to retrieve their anchor, the boat was capsized by a large wave, ejecting all five people into the water.

Family members notified the Coast Guard Friday morning to report that the group had not returned last night as expected. Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and initiated a search of the area from New River to Cape Lookout using aircraft and boats.

The men drifted with their boat for approximately 22 hours before they were located by Forester, an estimated 31 miles from their original location.

Only one person was wearing a lifejacket.

“The decision to stay with the boat helped save their lives,” said Capt. Anthony Popiel, commander of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “It was exactly the right thing to do.”

Staying with the boat and the water temperatures at approximately 76 degrees contributed to their survival.

“The Coast Guard also thanks Mr. Forester for his assistance in finding these men in the open ocean and bringing them to safety at the Radio Island boat ramp in Morehead City,” said Popiel. “He is the real hero of the day.”

Coast Guard Station Fort Macon crew members are drove the men back to their vehicle in Sneads Ferry, N.C.

Sea Tow is currently salvaging the overturned boat.

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