PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A daring rescue by Coast Guard personnel saved five people from a sailboat with a broken mast off the coast of North Carolina.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard got the call just before 2 p.m. on Friday that the 55-foot catamaran Rain Maker, homeported in Manhattan, N.Y., suffered a broken mast in about 40 mph winds and 13-foot seas about 200 miles south east of Cape Hatteras, N.C.
Aircrews were launched and the Ocean Crescent cargo ship, which was about 40 miles from the Rain Maker, responded as well. The Ocean Crescent tried to come alongside the sailboat around 4 p.m. It was about 5 p.m. that the Coast Guard’s helicopter hoisted the five up. They were then transported to the Dare County Regional Airport in Manteo, N.C.
“The mission today was challenging for our crews due to the distance from shore and the weather conditions,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Allen Facenda, an operations specialist in Portsmouth who worked on the case. “The crew we rescued had a registered and up-to-date emergency position indicating radio beacon that told us their exact position. All five people were wearing life jackets and were prepared to abandon their vessel in a life raft. We were happy to get there before that became necessary.”