U.S. Coast Guard rescues man after search off Emerald Isle, NC
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued a man Saturday after a search that began Friday when two men aboard a recreational fishing boat were reported overdue near Emerald Isle.
Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington received notification at about 7:45 p.m. Friday that a 23-foot center console with two people aboard were expected to arrive at Bogue Inlet by 5:30 p.m., but had not returned from their voyage.
The Coast Guard immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert mariners in the area. The Coast Guard sent a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Station Emerald Isle, and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Station Fort Macon, along with an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and C-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Elizabeth City to search.
The Station Emerald Isle crew located a capsized vessel matching the description of the overdue boat just outside of Bogue Inlet.
One of the overdue boaters was wearing a life jacket and was able to swim to shore. An Emerald Isle Fire Dept. crew located the man who was displaying signs of hypothermia, and placed him in the care of EMS.
The Coast Guard received a call from a person walking the shoreline near Bogue Inlet at about 4:40 a.m., reporting cries for help. A 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water crew from Station Emerald Isle arrived on scene and found the missing man clinging to the hard-top canopy from the overturned boat near Buoy 10 inside Bogue Inlet.
The man was taken to shore and placed in the care of awaiting EMS after displaying signs of hypothermia.
“The fact that these boaters told someone they were going out and planned to be back at a certain time is what saved this man’s life today,” said Chief Petty Officer Ryan Alexander, command duty officer for Sector North Carolina. “Wearing a life jacket exponentially increases the chances of survival in situations like this.”