Coast Guard rescues 4 off North Carolina Coast

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Coast Guard helicopter rescue crew airlifted two people from a disabled sailboat 113 miles southeast of Cape Lookout, N.C., Wednesday.

At 9:30 a.m., Towboat U.S., notified Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center Norfolk watchstanders in Portsmouth, reporting that the Wind Song II, a 52-foot sailboat, was in distress with four people aboard.

An HC-130J Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., was deployed and arrived on scene at 10:30 a.m. The aircrew was able to establish communications with the crew of the disabled vessel, who reported that their boat had suffered a mast and rudder casualty.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew from Air Station Elizabeth City was dispatched to the scene and arrived at 6:51 p.m. The helicopter rescue crew hoisted two people from the vessel and transported them back to Elizabeth City where they were met by the owner of the sailboat. The two remaining people on the disabled sailboat refused Coast Guard assistance.

The Coast Guard Cutter Cochito, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Norfolk, Va., arrived on scene at 2:30 a.m., Thursday, and has taken the disabled boat in tow. The Cochito is taking the boat back to Fort Macon, N.C., where it will be met by commercial salvage.

Current weather conditions include 15-foot seas and wind gusts reaching 40 mph.

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