Coast Guard Rescues Couple Who Clung to Capsized Sailboat in Rough Seas for Hours

The Coast Guard rescued a man and woman who clung to the hull of this sailboat for about three hours after it capsized 65 miles off Atlantic City in rough weather Wednesday night. Coast Guard photo
The Coast Guard rescued a man and woman who clung to the hull of this sailboat for about three hours after it capsized 65 miles off Atlantic City in rough weather Wednesday night. Coast Guard photo

A Coast Guard helicopter rescued a couple who clung to their capsized sailboat for about three hours in rough seas 65 miles off Atlantic City on Wednesday night.

The man and woman, whose names were not released, did not suffer any serious injuries but were taken to a hospital to be checked out after they arrived at the Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, said Petty Officer Andy Kendrick.

He said the Coast Guard received an Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon signal about 9 p.m., indicating a vessel was in distress in the Atlantic off the Jersey coast.

Information provided by the signal allowed the Coast Guard to track down an emergency contact for the vessel and learned it was the 55-foot wooden hulled sailboat Bertie with a couple on board en route from the Bahamas to New York City, Kendrick said.

The Coast Guard dispatched a helicopter from Atlantic City, a C-130 search plane from Air Station Elizabethtown, N.C., and a cutter already at sea to the coordinates from the emergency beacon, he said.

The rescuers arrived about the same time and saw the stricken vessel thanks to strobes in the water, Kendrick said. The helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer to the sailboat to lift the man and woman to safety.

It was not immediately known why the boat capsized, but a storm roiled seas in the area Wednesday night.

Kendrick credited the couple, who have been sailing around the world, for having the proper safety equipment and properly registering it, aiding their rescue.

In a separate development, the Coast Guard and other agencies suspended the search for the pilot of a small plane that crashed into the ocean just off Cape May on Wednesday.

The Mooney four-seat single engine plane slammed into the water and sank about 11:20 a.m. off the South Cape May Meadow bird sanctuary.

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This article was written by Joseph A. Gambardello from The Philadelphia Inquirer and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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