Coast Guard assists four crewmembers of disabled sailboat off Oregon Inlet

A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk. [USCG photo]

The Coast Guard assisted the crew of a disabled sailing vessel that run into trouble 30 miles off Oregon Inlet Wednesday evening.

Sector North Carolina watchstanders received a distress call via VHF-FM radio at approximately 6 p.m. from the crew of the Puffin reporting that their 70-foot sailing vessel had become disabled in heavy seas.

The crew activated their on-board emergency position indicating radio beacon to help provide the vessels location to the Coast Guard aircrews. An Air Station Elizabeth City MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew was launched along with an HC-130J Hercules aircrew.

The Hercules aircrew arrived on scene to establish visual confirmation of the vessel. The Jayhawk helicopter aircrew arrived and transported all four boaters to Air Station Elizabeth City where they were met by emergency medical services personnel.

“All boaters are strongly encouraged to check weather conditions before departing a port,” said Stephen Sawyer, the search and rescue mission coordinator at Sector North Carolina. “This can greatly decrease the risk of getting caught in dangerous conditions on the water and becoming disabled.”

There were no reported injuries to the boaters.

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Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.