Offbeat: Four sailors aboard sailboat from Annapolis rescued off North Carolina coast - PressFrom - US
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OffbeatFour sailors aboard sailboat from Annapolis rescued off North Carolina coast

19:40  29 november  2018
19:40  29 november  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Four sailors aboard sailboat from Annapolis rescued off North Carolina coast© U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Healy

Four sailors attempting to deliver a 55-foot sailboat from Annapolis to Miami were rescued from the Atlantic Ocean by the U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday.

A Coast Guard news release said the crew was recovered just over 100 miles off Cape Lookout, North Carolina, after the Beneteau Oceanis 55.1 was dismasted during a storm that produced heavy winds and high seas.

Rescue Coordination Center Norfolk received a satellite emergency distress notification just after 6 p.m. on Monday and was able to identify the source. Later that evening, an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew out of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, located the sailboat and contacted the crew by radio.

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Andy Kendrick, a Baltimore-based public affairs specialist with the coast guard, said the four sailors reported they were not injured nor in need of immediate assistance.

However, the boat’s mast and rigging were overboard while the steering gear was damaged. The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba, on routine patrol in the region, was dispatched and reached the Beneteau Oceanis 55.1 about noon on Tuesday.

Kendrick said the cutter’s crew assessed the damage then rendered assistance, helping the four sailors cut away the damaged rig then taking them aboard. It was determined the Escanaba could not safely tow the 55-foot sailboat back to port so it was left behind.

On Wednesday morning, a Coast Guard Station Fort Macon 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew headed out to meet the Escanaba and bring the four men — described as experienced mariners — back to shore.

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“I am extremely proud of the professionalism and performance of the entire crew of Escanaba, to safely locate and rescue these four mariners,” said Capt. Michael Turdo, commanding officer of the Escanaba. “With the on scene weather continuing to deteriorate throughout the day, this could have quickly taken a turn for the worse.”

Saran Angell, sailboat sales manager with Annapolis-based Beneteau America, confirmed the company owns the Oceanis 55.1. It had been displayed at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis in October and was being delivered south for the Miami International Boat Show being held in February.

Angell said the four sailors hired to do the delivery were not Annapolis residents. They departed Annapolis on Saturday and encountered the severe conditions on Monday. Both the Coast Guard and Beneteau America declined to name the four sailors rescued.

“We’re very happy that everyone is safe,” Angell said. “This type of incident is very rare and very uncommon. We will be investigating the specific circumstances to determine exactly what happened.”

Angell said Beneteau America will coordinate with the Coast Guard on recovering the sailboat, which has a tracking device aboard.

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