Coast Guard rescues 2 survivors clinging to debris in Pamlico Sound, NC

The Mad Lady II, a 35-foot fishing boat, is seen after two men were rescued on debris from the fishing boat Wednesday morning in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, July 18, 2018. The two men were shrimping aboard the boat capsized in a storm. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Mad Lady II, a 35-foot fishing boat, is seen after two men were rescued on debris from the fishing boat Wednesday morning in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, July 18, 2018.  U.S. Coast Guard photo.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Wednesday morning, after their fishing boat capsized Tuesday near Hog Island.

“Locating the two fisherman was a true team effort between local first responders, good Samaritans and the Coast Guard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Karow, the search and rescue mission coordinator. “We are all grateful that the men were able to hold on to the floating debris throughout the long night.”

The wife of a fishermen called for help Tuesday night, on behalf of her husband, reporting the generator on the men’s boat was not working properly and the men were trying to find safety near shore in the deteriorating weather. They had departed Ocracoke Tuesday morning and were planning to shrimp in Pamlico Sound before unloading their catch in Engelhard.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center coordinated search efforts with Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City aircrews, Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet boat crews, North Carolina wildlife enforcement officers and local police.

At about 6:20 a.m., Wednesday, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located the overturned Mad Lady II, the missing 35-foot fishing boat, about 4 miles south of Wysocking Bay. Neither of the men was with the boat, but another mariner reported a debris field about 7 miles northeast of the boat’s location. The aircrew began searching that area and found both men clinging to debris.

The men were rescued and taken back to Air Station Elizabeth City, where they met EMS. Neither men were reported to have serious injuries, but were taken to Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.

Karow said the early notification to the Coast Guard was key to the successful search and rescue planning.

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