Coast Guard Rescues Four from Eight Foot Seas

MIAMI – Four people were rescued by the crew of a Coast Guard cutter after their 38-foot sailboat began taking on water approximately 200-miles east of Charleston, S.C., today at about 5 a.m.

Paul Doughty, Linda Doughty, both of Keyport, N.J., and Berlinda and Antoinette Cole were sailing the Wolf when it began taking on water after the vessel apparently struck an unknown object in water. The vessel began flooding rapidly, and the group had no choice but to activate their emergency position indicating radio beacon to signal for help.

The Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center at Atlantic Area Command in Portsmouth, Va., was the first to receive the distress signal from the Wolf’s EPIRB. Rescue coordinators at Atlantic Area forwarded the call to Coast Guard District Seven Command in Miami to coordinate the rescue.

Rescue coordinators at District Seven diverted the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Reliance from Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine, to make the rescue. The Reliance was only six-miles away from the sailboat’s position when they diverted to help the foundering sailing vessel.

The crew of the Reliance arrived to the aid of the sailing vessel just in time. The sailboat’s cabin had filled with approximately four feet of water, and the vessel’s bilge pumps had lost power and were no longer pumping the water off the boat.

A rescue crew from the Reliance piloted their ship’s small boat through 8- to-10-foot seas to the sailing vessel and pulled all four of the sailors off the sinking vessel safely.

The four sailors are aboard the Reliance and are in good condition. They will stay aboard the cutter until the ship pulls into Cape Cod, Mass., Wednesday.

“This rescue illustrates the importance of carrying a registered Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon,” said Cmdr. Webster Balding, the commanding officer of Reliance. “These devices are one of the best tools for a vessel in need of assistance, especially vessels operating this far from shore.”

The crew of the Wolf was on their way to Beaufort, S.C., from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when they began to take on water.

The crew of the Reliance was unable to tow the Wolf in port safely because it was taking on so much water and the seas offshore were too large. The vessel is adrift and its position has been marked in order to prevent it from initiating any false mayday calls.

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  1. Edith Szetoo Barton says:

    Thank you to all the Coast and staffs who assisted my sister, her husband and two friends. Without the Coast Guards people would not be safe from the stormy and vicious sea.

  2. Edith Szetoo Barton says:

    I would like to state that I meant to thank the Coast Guards, and not Coast.