Coast Guard Rescues Two Survivors Clinging to Debris in Pamlico Sound

Boat debris used to keep Pamlico Sound NC survivors afloat. Source: US Coast Guard District 5
Boat debris used to keep Pamlico Sound NC survivors afloat. Source: US Coast Guard District 5

Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Wednesday, July 18, 2018, after their fishing boat capsized Tuesday near Hog Island — located in the waters near Gull Rock Game Land.

“Locating the two fisherman was a true team effort between local first responders, good Samaritans and the Coast Guard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Karow, the search and rescue mission coordinator. “We are all grateful that the men were able to hold on to the floating debris throughout the long night.”

The wife of a fishermen called for help Tuesday night (July 17, 2018), on behalf of her husband, reporting the generator on the men’s boat was not working properly and the men were trying to find safety near shore in the deteriorating weather. They had departed Ocracoke, North Carolina on Tuesday morning and were planning to shrimp in Pamlico Sound before unloading their catch in Engelhard NC.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center coordinated search efforts with Air Station Elizabeth City aircrews, Station Hatteras Inlet boat crews, NC wildlife enforcement officers, and local police.

At about 6:20am, Wednesday, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located the overturned Mad Lady II, the missing 35-foot fishing boat, about 4 miles south of Wysocking Bay. Neither of the men was with the boat, but another mariner reported a debris field about 7 miles northeast of the boat’s location. The aircrew began searching that area and found both men clinging to debris.

The men were rescued and taken back to Air Station Elizabeth City, where they met EMS. Neither men were reported to have serious injuries, but were taken to Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.

Karow said the early notification to the Coast Guard was key to the successful search and rescue planning.

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