Coast Guard rescue off Cape Fear

Published on April 15th, 2022

Elizabeth City, NC (April 15, 2022) – The Coast Guard today hoisted two people from a damaged sailboat approximately 86 miles southeast of Cape Fear, a prominent headland jutting into the Atlantic Ocean off of North Carolina. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew transported them back to Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

Watchstanders from the U.S. Coast Guard Fifth District command center received notification from the International Emergency Rescue Coordination Center stating that they received a distress alert from the 34-foot Spin Drift crew.

The Fifth District command center team directed the launch of crews and the Jayhawk and an HC-130 Hercules airplane from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City.

The USCGC Richard Dixon (WPC 1113) crew, based in Puerto Rico, was 50 miles away, transiting to the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore and diverted to the scene to assist.

The Hercules crew arrived on the scene first and confirmed that the Spin Drift was disabled and adrift in 12-foot seas and 21 mph winds. The Jayhawk arrived shortly after and conducted the hoist.

There are no reports of injuries or pollution. The vessel remains a possible hazard to navigation. An emergency Broadcast Notice to Mariners was issued, alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout to avoid a collision. The owners of the vessel will coordinate salvage.

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