CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) -- Coast Guard helicopters have rescued nine people from the storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean today as winds gusted up to hurricane force along the North Carolina coast.
A Coast Guard spokesman says three people were rescued from a makeshift life raft in 34-foot seas around 10:30 a-m about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras. The sailors, who had been aboard the sailboat "Lou Pantini," were flown to the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for medical evaluation. All three suffered from hypothermia and one had broken ribs.
Three other sailors were rescued about 7:30 a.m. from the sailboat "Seaker," which was within 50 miles of Cape Hatteras in the Diamond Shoals area. Those sailors received a medical evaluation at the Coast Guard air base at Elizabeth City.
A third rescue happened just after 1 p.m. about 120 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras in 35-foot seas. Three people were picked up from their sailboat and taken to Cherry Point. None was injured.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)