Coast Guard rescues 2 survivors clinging to debris in Pamlico Sound, NC

July 18, 2018
U.S. Coast Guard 5th District Mid-Atlantic
Contact: 5th District Public Affairs
Office: (757) 398-6272
After Hours: (757) 434-7712
5th District online newsroom

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Two men were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew Wednesday morning, after their fishing boat capsized Tuesday near Hog Island.

“Locating the two fisherman was a true team effort between local first responders, good Samaritans and the Coast Guard,” said Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Karow, the search and rescue mission coordinator. “We are all grateful that the men were able to hold on to the floating debris throughout the long night.”

The wife of a fishermen called for help Tuesday night, on behalf of her husband, reporting the generator on the men’s boat was not working properly and the men were trying to find safety near shore in the deteriorating weather. They had departed Ocracoke Tuesday morning and were planning to shrimp in Pamlico Sound before unloading their catch in Engelhard.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center coordinated search efforts with Air Station Elizabeth City aircrews, Station Hatteras Inlet boat crews, North Carolina wildlife enforcement officers and local police.

At about 6:20 a.m., Wednesday, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew located the overturned Mad Lady II, the missing 35-foot fishing boat, about 4 miles south of Wysocking Bay. Neither of the men was with the boat, but another mariner reported a debris field about 7 miles northeast of the boat’s location. The aircrew began searching that area and found both men clinging to debris.

The men were rescued and taken back to Air Station Elizabeth City, where they met EMS. Neither men were reported to have serious injuries, but were taken to Sentara Albemarle Medical Center.
Karow said the early notification to the Coast Guard was key to the successful search and rescue planning.