Coast Guard assists disabled boat 22 miles off Hatteras Inlet on Saturday

A USCG plane from Elizabeth City spotted the boat from the air. [USCG image]

The Coast Guard assisted five people after their 21-foot boat lost electrical power and the crew activated their emergency beacon 22 miles east of Hatteras Inlet on Saturday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s 5th District in Portsmouth received an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon alert of a vessel possibly in distress.

The Coast Guard confirmed the owner of the vessel departed on a fishing trip earlier in the day when they reached a relative who was listed as a contact in the EPIRB’s registration

The crew of an HC-130 Hercules search and rescue aircraft from Air Station Elizabeth City was diverted to the EPIRB’s location while the crew of a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat was dispatched from Station Hatteras Inlet.

With storm clouds threatening, the Coast Guard towed the boat back to shore. [USCG photo]
Once on-scene, the HC-130 Hercules aircrew spotted the boaters in distress and were notified by a nearby Good Samaritan that boaters had lost power and were unable to communicate.

The crew of the HC-130 Hercules dropped a radio to the boaters and then circled overhead until the rescue boat crew from Station Hatteras Inlet took them in tow and safely returned them to Hatteras Inlet.

“EPIRB’s are a powerful safety tool, especially when used in conjunction with lifejackets and a communication device,” said Lt. j.g. Catherine Taylor Pravia, command duty officer at the Coast Guard’s 5th District command center. “This case illustrates how EPIRB’s can expedite a case so rescuers can reach those in need faster and more accurately.”