A daring rescue unfolded off the coast near Wilmington, North Carolina, as the U.S. Coast Guard sprang into action to save four Canadian sailors aboard the capsized catamaran, Moon Dragon.
The 60-foot charter yacht, which sails between the Mid-Atlantic and Virgin Islands, met with peril about 140 feet offshore on a fateful Saturday afternoon.
Misfortune struck when both the port and starboard side hatches of the catamaran broke, causing a catastrophic flooding situation.
Dramatic Helicopter Rescue of Catamaran Sailors in North Carolina
This forced the sailors to abandon ship around noon, as stated in an agency press release. Luckily, they were able to radio the overhead crew with still-functional equipment after the teams spotted their vessel and covered life raft.
The response was swift. A Coast Guard helicopter and airplane from Air Station Elizabeth City raced to the scene after receiving an electronic position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) signal from the sailors on the catamaran.
The availability of functional life vests onboard also contributed to their swift rescue.
Safe Extraction Amid Lingering Hazards
“These sailors had the right gear on board, it worked, they knew how to use it, and it’s because of that we were able to find them and bring them home safely,” expressed operations cruiser Austin Lang in the press release.
The rescue operation, caught on camera, resulted in the safe extraction of the four sailors with no injuries, as confirmed by the agency a day after the incident.
However, despite the successful rescue, their vessel continues to pose a hazard in the area, floating upside down in the water, and presenting a threat to other boaters.
With information from Fox News