Washington, DC Man Saved by North Carolina Coast Guard

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – A Washington, D.C., man was rescued by the Coast Guard after his vessel sank 82 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C., this evening.

David Bentley, a 53-year-old, was hoisted to safety from a life raft by a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City helicopter rescue crew, after his 42-foot boat rapidly took on water and sank.

Bentley was transported to the Coast Guard Air Station where he was released to local EMS personnel for further treatment.

The rescue began at shortly after 4:30 this afternoon when Coast Guard watch standers at the Rescue Coordination Center in Portsmouth, Va., received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) alert from the vessel.

“Mr. Bentley was an extremely well prepared mariner,” said Coast Guard Lt. Bruno Baltazar.

“When he registered his vessel’s EPIRB a few weeks ago he also electronically entered the float plan for his entire voyage. I’ve been working here for more than three years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen anybody do that,” Baltazar said.

Coast Guard rescue pilot Lt. j.g. Tony DeWinter agreed.

“This mariner (Bentley) did more in preparation then most; his EPIRB was properly registered, he had an accurate float plan, and all the survival equipment needed,” said DeWinter.

“He respected the environment that he was entering and we were able to go directly to his location. He really took the ‘search’ out of search and rescue,” said DeWinter.

The Coast Guard encourages boaters to always wear their life jackets when on the water, file a float plan with friends, family or their local marina before heading out on the water that includes the number of people on board, along with their intended destination and estimated time of return and to carry a VHF radio and EPIRB to contact help in case of emergency.

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