WILMINGTON, N.C. (WAVY) — After nine hours of searching, the Coast Guard rescued two men after their kayaks took on water Saturday afternoon.
Both men were alive and conscious when rescuers found them around 1:20 Sunday morning about nine miles southwest of their original location in Pamlico Sound, according to a statement released by the Coast Guard.
The search began around 4:30 Saturday afternoon, when the Coast Guard in Wilmington got a call from one the kayakers, saying that one of their boats was submerged, and both men were in distress in the water.
A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew and a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft crew launched from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from Air Station Elizabeth City.
Searchers operated in wind speeds of 22 miles per hour and three-foot seas before they found the men in the water early Sunday morning.
“The fact both men were wearing life jackets greatly enhanced their chances of survival. […] They likely owed their lives to the decision to wear PFDs,” said Lieutenant J.G. Charlie Collins, the command duty officer for the case.
The two men, both in their mid-20s, were taken to Station Oregon Inlet for medical care.