Coast Guard rescues 2 from sinking 88′ sailboat in rough seas

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (Dec. 9, 2010) — An Air Station HC-130 Hercules aircrew provided surveillance and served as a communications platform during the rescue of a disabled sailing vessel 100 miles southeast off Nantucket, Mass., Dec. 7-8.

The aircrew stayed on scene throughout the night for the Raw Faith, an 88-foot sailing vessel that had two people aboard and departed Salem, Mass., for Bermuda.

The Coast Guard 1st District Command Center received notification Dec. 6, via an emergency position-locating beacon signal from the Raw Faith. The Coast Guard launched multiple aircraft to search for the distressed vessel. Along with the crew from Elizabeth City, three Coast Guard rescue helicopter crews and a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., participated in the multi-day case of the Raw Faith.

Upon locating the Raw Faith, a rescue helicopter crew from Cape Cod attempted to deliver additional safety gear to the crew, as the vessel only had one survival suit and two life rafts onboard. Weather conditions consisting of 25-30 knot winds and ocean wave heights of 10-15 feet proved too difficult for the gear transfer.

The Coast Guard Cutter Tybee and Coast Guard Cutter Reliance arrived on scene with the Raw Faith. The crew of the Reliance assessed the ship and determined that the hull was buckling.
The crew abandoned the sinking vessel and was hoisted from the water by one of the helicopter crews from Air Station Cape Cod at 2:20 p.m. Dec. 8. After the rescue, they were taken back to Air Station Cape Cod.

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