August 27, 2012

Coast Guard rescues four from overturned boat in Hatteras Inlet

A crew from U.S. Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet rescued four men from Virginia Beach yesterday morning after their 26-foot boat capsized in rough inlet waters.

The Coast Guard received a call at 11:14 a.m. from a Good Samaritan who had come upon the four clinging to the overturned boat.  That boater was able to throw life jackets and other flotation devices to the men, but he was unable to get close enough to pull them out of the water in the choppy inlet, according to BM2 Adam Preiser.

Preiser said the seas were 4- to 7-feet on an outgoing tide.

The men had headed out for a day of fishing, but found the water too rough for comfort.  They turned around and were headed back into Hatteras when the boat capsized. They had been in the water for about 10 minutes before another boater saw them.

Preiser said he and his boat crew were still sleeping when the call came in.  They didn’t get back to the station until the early morning hours Sunday after another rescue call.

At 11:20, he said, the crew was ready to leave the station in a 47-foot motor life boat with Preiser at the helm.

They arrived on the scene at 11:30, and the first man was pulled out of the water at 11:32.  All four were recovered in seven minutes, Preiser said.

He maneuvered the rescue boat to within 10 feet of the men, and the crew had them swim toward the boat, throwing them lines to help pull them in.

The four men had been pummeled by the waves, but had only some minor lacerations. 

“They were pretty shaken up,” Preiser said.

Dare County Emergency Medical Services was waiting at the station when the boat returned.  Apparently all got a clean bill of health because Presier said they went to Ocracoke later in the day to see where their boat eventually washed up.

Earlier today, Preiser was all about praise for the boat’s crew.

“Their performance was superior,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without the crew.”

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