The United States Coast Guard (USCG) just rescued two commercial fishermen late last week as their boat started sinking. The incident occurred in the Pamlico Sound, five miles off the coast of North Carolina.
Video footage captures the crazy rescue footage showing Coast Guard members tossing out ropes and a buoy to the stranded men. The sailors then jump from their sinking ship into the ice-cold waters. Both men were then brought to the Coast Guard Station at Hatteras Inlet. No injuries were reported.
According to a Coast Guard press release, the agency received a call for help on Novermber 17th at around 2 a.m. The distressed caller reported that his 35-foot fishing boat was “taking on water.” The Coast Guard swiftly responded by sending a 47-foot lifeboat to the scene of the incident.
Upon arrival, the USCG crew passed an emergency pump to the fishermen. However, they couldn’t figure out how to operate the pump. An official then hopped aboard the vessel to show the men how to prime the pump. That official then returned to the rescue vessel.
You can watch the insane footage below.
Coast Guard Official Speaks On ‘Unpredictable Maritime Environment’
Shortly after that, the fishing boat began quickly sinking by its stern. The two fishermen then were forced to abandon ship. In the footage, we see the men clinging tightly to the rope as their vessel starts to go under. The men release the rope to dodge items being launched from the boat. They scrambled out of the way to avoid falling objects in the dramatic rescue.
One of the men even slipped out of his life jacket before resurfacing a moment later. He swam over to the Coast Guard ship and grabbed a rope.
Despite best efforts, the fishing vessel sank.
“The maritime environment is often unpredictable and preparedness is crucial,” said Stephen Sawyer, who serves as Sector North Carolina’s command duty officer. “We recommend commercial fishing vessels contact their local Coast Guard commercial fishing safety examiner for a comprehensive safety exam, have a reliable means of communication, and always wear a life jacket.
The lowest reading of the water temperature near the scene on November 17 was 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Without question, those temperatures would quickly cause exhaustion, unconsciousness, and early stages of hypothermia, according to the USCG. The quick responses of Coast Guard personnel saved the men from the chilly waters in less than 2 minutes.
Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, is one of the busiest air stations in the U.S. Coast Guard. This base operates missions in locations such as Greenland, the Caribbean, and the Azores. The base is located along the Pasquotank River near the opening of the Albemarle Sound.