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Coast Guard saves three on boat off N.C., S.C.

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SOUTHPORT (AP) -- Three people are safe today after being rescued from their disabled 53-foot sailboat off the Carolina coast.

The Coast Guard says one rescue attempt was called off because of rough seas.

The engine of the sailboat Leroy broke down in 10-foot seas and 25-knot winds south of Cape Fear yesterday and began drifting off the South Carolina coast.

Officials say utility boats were launched from Coast Guard stations in North Carolina and South Carolina, but they turned back after commanders decided the winds and seas were too dangerous. A self-righting 47-foot lifeboat from Wrightsville Beach and a HH-65 helicopter from Charleston (South Carolina) were dispatched.

It took the lifeboat four hours to arrive at the sailboat last night. The lifeboat arrived at the Southport marina this morning.

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