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Crew rescued after sailboat dismasted in storm

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The U.S. Coast Guard rescued the four-member crew of a sailboat that was dismasted in a storm Monday night more than 100 miles off Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

According to a USCG report, the 55-foot Beneteau S/Y Oceanis was located by an HC-130 Hercules airplane sent out Monday night after a satellite emergency distress signal was received at the Air Station in Elizabeth City. The air crew made radio contact with the men on board the boat, who reported no injuries, but said the boat’s mast was broken and the steering gear was damaged.

Four crew were rescued after their sailboat was dismasted off North Carolina.  Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nicholas Healy

Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba reached them Tuesday and, after assessing the damage, took the four men aboard and headed back toward North Carolina.

Wednesday morning, a 47-foot motor lifeboat from the USCG Station in Fort Macon headed out to meet the Escanaba and bring the men to shore.

“I am extremely proud of the professionalism and performance of the entire crew of Escanaba,” stated 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.”

The crew of the sailboat had departed Annapolis, Maryland, on Saturday and were headed to Miami when they encountered heavy wind and seas. The boat was being delivered to participate in the Miami International Boat Show in February, according to news reports.

The owner of the boat is coordinating salvage of the vessel, the Coast Guard reported.

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Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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