Coast Guard, good Samaritan rescue 3 from sinking vessel near Cape Fear

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo.

Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard assisted in the rescue of three mariners after their vessel began to take on water approximately 46 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, Friday morning.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center received an alert from an unregistered emergency positioning indicating radio beacon approximately 46 miles off the coast of Cape Fear.

The 5th District Command Center watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched an HC-130 Hercules aircrew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina to search the area of the EPIRB alert.

Once on scene, the Hercules aircrew spotted a vessel that was taking on water and dropped a bilge pump and a life raft to the mariners aboard.

The mariners were unable to utilize the bilge pump, which resulted in them abandoning ship and climbing into the life raft.

A good Samaritan boatcrew who overheard the UMIB was successfully vectored in by the Hercules aircrew and safely transferred all three mariners aboard their vessel.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Oak Island, North Carolina, also responded and met with the good Samaritan to help escort them back to Station Oak Island.

No injuries were reported.

“We are glad that we were able to locate the vessel with the EPIRB alert and help bring these mariners home safely,” said Chief Petty Officer Ryan Langley, a command duty officer at the 5th District command center. “However, it is vital to register your EPIRB to your vessel with the proper information in the case of an emergency situation. ”

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