Coast Guard rescues 2 mariners 86 miles southeast of Cape Fear

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and C-130 Hercules aircraft

Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-130 Hercules aircraft file photo

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — The Coast Guard hoisted two mariners from a damaged sailing vessel approximately 86 miles southeast of Cape Fear on Friday.

Following the host, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew safely transported the mariners back to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

Watchstanders from the U.S. Coast Guard Fifth District command center received notification from the International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center stating that they received a distress alert from the 34-foot sailing vessel Spin Drift crew.

The Fifth District command center team directed the launch of crews and the Jayhawk and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

The Coast Guard Cutter Richard Dixon, (WPC 1113) crew, based in Puerto Rico, was 50 miles away, transiting to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore and diverted to the scene to assist.

The Hercules crew arrived on the scene first and confirmed that the Spin Drift was dismasted and adrift in 12-foot seas and 21 mph winds. The Jayhawk arrived shortly after and conducted the hoist.

There are no reports of injuries or pollution. The vessel remains a possible hazard to navigation. An emergency Broadcast Notice to Mariners was issued, alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout to avoid a collision. The owners of the vessel will coordinate salvage.

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