The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two people Friday aboard a 44-foot sailboat that sank just off South Carolina.
A boat rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Georgetown responded to a distress call at 5:40 p.m. from a crew member aboard Answer My Friend that the vessel was in distress near a jetty in the entrance to Winyah Bay.
After unsuccessfully trying to make contact with the boat on VHF Channel 16, the Coast Guard received an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) activation from the vessel and issued an urgent marine information broadcast over the radio.
The rescue boat crew and a Coast Guard Air Station Savannah helicopter crew immediately launched to search for the mariners. A good Samaritan boater arrived at the scene to find the sailboat on the jetty partially submerged, but was unable to locate the crew.
The Coast Guard rescue boat crew arrived to find and pull two people in the water, and treated them for shock and hypothermia.
"Whether it's a VHF radio, an EPIRB, or a cellphone, having reliable communications equipment while out on the water is the keystone of maritime safety, providing a vital link to summon assistance or share critical information during a maritime emergency," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert Dash, command duty officer, Sector Charleston.
The cause of the sinking is under investigation.
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