Five boaters rescued by Coast Guard near Topsail


Wilmington, NEW HANOVER - The Coast Guard rescued five people from the water eight miles off of Topsail Island early Sunday morning.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington received a mayday call at 9:53 a.m. that a 19 foot boat was taking on water with five people on aboard. Watchstanders the received a Pender county 911 call at 9:55 that the boat had capsized and all five people were in the water.

Three of the people were wearing life jackets; two were sitting on the capsized boat's hull.

Sector North Carolina watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast, diverted an already airborne HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and launched 29-foot Response Boat-Small and 45-foot Response Boat crews to Wrightsville Beach.

The Hercules crew arrived on scene at 10:35 a.m. and dropped rescue gear and a flare to mark the vessel's position.

All five people were pulled from the water by 11:15 a.m.

"This is a perfect example of how vital it is to not only make sure you have life jackets on board, but also that they are readily available in case of emergency," said Stephen Sawyer, Sector north Carolina Command duty officer for the case.

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