Sailboat crew rescued by USCG

November 7, 2009 4:42:56 PM PST
A Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted three crewmembers, one injured, from a disabled vessel 400 miles east of Elizabeth City early Saturday morning with the assistance of the crew of Navy aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower.

At 9:26 p.m. Friday, watchstanders at Rescue Coordination Center Halifax, Nova Scotia, notified Coast Guard watchstanders at RCC Norfolk in Portsmouth, Va., that there was a sailing vessel overdue with three people onboard in distress.

Officials with the Coast Guard say an HC-130J Hercules air crew launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, located the sailing vessel and established communications with the crew, who stated they had suffered a mast casualty, their engines were not functioning properly, and one of their crewmembers was injured.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew from the air station launched to medevac the crew. The crew of the Eisenhower diverted to assist by providing a landing and refueling platform for the Jayhawk crew. When onboard the Eisenhower, the helicopter crew met with the ship's doctor, who accompanied them to the sailing vessel.

The helicopter crew hoisted all three crewmembers aboard and transported them back to the air station, where emergency medical personnel met them and transported them to Albemarle Hospital.

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