Coast Guard rescues 5 from capsized boat near Topsail Island

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TOPSAIL ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The Coast Guard rescued five people from the water eight miles off Topsail Island Sunday.

Coast Guard crews in Wilmington received a mayday call on Channel 16 at 9:53 a.m. that a 19-foot boat was taking on water with five people aboard. A Pender County 911 call came in at 9:55 a.m. that the boat had capsized and five people were in the water.

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

An already-airborne HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City diverted to the area and two boat crews from Station Wrightsville Beach also responded at about 10:00 a.m.

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



The RB-S crew arrived on scene, pulled all five people from the water and transferred the people back to the station. 

Sea Tow Wrightsville Beach salvaged the capsized vessel.

“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 an emergency,” said Stephen Sawyer, Sector North Carolina command duty officer for the case. “This situation also illustrates how important it is to work closely with our local partners. Pender County 911 relayed critical information to us about the vessel’s position that helped us reach the people quickly.”