The Coast Guard assisted a man after his sailboat began taking on water early Tuesday morning near Ocracoke Inlet.
“This mariner called for help right away instead of waiting for a minor
problem to become something much worse,” said Craig Sanders, the
operations unit controller for the case. “He had the right
communications equipment on board, and his quick call for help enabled
our crews to respond in a timely manner.”
The man contacted the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center
in Wilmington on VHF-FM channel 16 at 3:34 a.m., reporting that his
33-foot sailboat, Emerald City, was taking on water about 20 miles east
of the entrance to Ocracoke Inlet.
Crews aboard two 47-foot Motor Life Boats from Station Hatteras Inlet
and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City
launched to assist.
Once on scene, the helicopter crew lowered a dewatering pump and rescue
swimmer to the sailboat to assess the situation. Neither rescue swimmer
nor boat operator could discern the source of the leak, although the
vessel had stopped taking on water.
The boat crews arrived on scene and passed another dewatering pump to
the sailboat to remove the water. The aircrew departed and one of the
boat crews transported the vessel's owner back to Station Hatteras
Due to six-foot breaking waves at the entrances to both Hatteras and
Ocracoke Inlets, the other MLB crew towed the sailboat to a knoll
between the inlets, about three miles offshore. The sailboat's owner is
making plans to recover the vessel Wednesday.