The U.S. Coast Guard assisted five people after their 21-foot boat lost electrical power 22-miles east of Hatteras Inlet on Saturday, May 11.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard’s 5th District in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon alert of a vessel possibly in distress 22-miles off the coast of Hatteras Inlet.
Coast Guard watchstanders confirmed the owner of the vessel departed on a fishing trip earlier in the day when they reached a relative who was listed as a contact in the EPIRB’s registration
The crew of an HC-130 Hercules search and rescue aircraft was diverted to the EPIRB’s location while the crew of a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat was dispatched from Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet.
Once on scene, the HC-130 Hercules aircrew spotted the boaters in distress and were notified by a nearby Good Samaritan that boaters had lost power and were unable to communicate.
The crew of the HC-130 Hercules dropped a radio to the boaters and then circled overhead until the rescue boat crew from Station Hatteras Inlet took them in tow and safely returned them to Hatteras Inlet.
“EPIRB’s are a powerful safety tool, especially when used in conjunction with lifejackets and a communication device,” said Lt. j.g. Catherine Taylor Pravia, command duty officer at the Coast Guard’s 5th District command center. “This case illustrates how EPIRB’s can expedite a case so rescuers can reach those in need faster and more accurately.”