The Coast Guard medevaced a man from sailboat
near Ocracoke Monday.
Watchstanders in the 5th Coast Guard District Command Center in
Portsmouth received a personal locator beacon alert at 3:30 p.m.
originating about five miles west of Portsmouth Island, North Carolina.
Command Center watchstanders issued an urgent marine information
broadcast at 5:20 p.m.
An already-airborne HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Coast Guard Air
Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, diverted to respond at 5:25
p.m. and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from the air station
at about 5:40 p.m.
At 6:15 p.m., the Hercules crew found a 12-foot sailboat with one man
aboard waving his arms.
When the Jayhawk crew arrived on scene, a rescue swimmer deployed and
boarded the sailboat. The distressed sailor informed the rescue swimmer
that he was seasick and experiencing chest pains.
The Jayhawk crew hoisted the man and transported him to The Outer Banks
Hospital in Nags Heads, North Carolina, by 7:30 p.m.
“The personal locator beacon is a reliable and powerful piece of
equipment that enables boaters to send out a distress signal during an
emergency,” said Matthew Brooks, command duty officer for the case.
“This device was the only means by which this man was able to
communicate that he was in trouble. It greatly helped us hone in on his
position, and it may have saved his life.”