Coast Guard rescues 5 people from damaged sailboat off NC coast
Posted January 31, 2015 7:36 a.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2015 7:37 a.m. EST
Elizabeth City, N.C. — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued five people from a 55-foot catamaran Friday afternoon after its mast broke about 200 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras.
Officials said the mast of the Rain Maker, of Manhattan, N.Y., broke at about 1:50 p.m. due to 40 mph winds and 13-foot seas.
A Coast Guard rescue ship arrived at the damaged vessel at about 4:05 p.m., but the 350-foot cargo ship was unable to come alongside the Rain Maker.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter arrived at about 5 p.m. and hoisted all five people from the water.
The boaters were flown to Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, N.C. They were all in good condition, officials said.
“The mission today was challenging for our crews due to the distance from shore and the weather conditions,” Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Facenda, an operations specialist in Portsmouth who worked on the case, said in a statement.
“The crew we rescued had a registered and up-to-date emergency position indicating radio beacon that told us their exact position. All five people were wearing life jackets and were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft. We were happy to get there before that became necessary.”