North Carolina Man Rescued From Fog Bank After Joint Agency Search

FORT MACON, NC – A joint search effort between the Coast Guard, the Marine Corps and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office resulted in a pleasure boater being rescued early Wednesday morning in the fog after his boat ran aground in Ocracoke Inlet.

After being trapped aground in a fogbank for more than 10 hours, Darrin Callahan, 50, of Hatteras, NC, was airlifted to safety by Pedro, a Marine search and rescue HH-46 helicopter based out of Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC.

At 2:20 p.m. Tuesday, Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet received an overdue vessel report for a 21-foot Carolina Skiff traveling from Silver Lake to Hatteras Inlet. The station quickly contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina’s Command Center to issue an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast for boaters in the area to be on the lookout for the overdue vessel.

An HH-60 helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City and a small boat from Station Hatteras Inlet began searching for the missing mariner. At 7:45 p.m., units from Dare County Sheriff’s Patrol joined in the search, which progressed very slowly and with great difficulty due to the poor visibility caused by the fog. Around 11:00 p.m. the fog began to clear, but the HH-60 had to divert to Wilmington to refuel because of heavy fog cover in Elizabeth City. In their absence, MCAS Cherry Point cleared Pedro to assist in the search for Callahan.

Pedro arrived on scene just after midnight to begin searching in patchy fog. During their second pass, and with fuel running low, its crew spotted Callahan and his boat. The Marines hoisted Mr. Callahan to the helicopter and transferred him to Ocracoke Airport where an ambulance was standing by.
Callahan is reported in good health and sustained no injuries, thanks to the collaborative interagency search and rescue efforts of the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office.

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