ENC Coast Guard crew recognized for rescue of family from sailboat during Tropical Storm Ophelia
An eastern North Carolina Coast Guard crew was recognized for rescuing a family stranded aboard a catamaran as Tropical Storm Ophelia approached.
USCG 5th District Admiral Shannon Gilreath presented the lifeboat crew with the Coast Guard Commendation Medal for exceptional performance of duty.
The owner of sailing vessel Wanderful Life called Coast Guard Sector North Carolina and said he was anchored in Lookout Bight but did not feel comfortable in the channel and asked to be rescued by the Coast Guard.
All passengers aboard were wearing lifejackets and three of them were children, ages 10, 7, and 4.
The life boat crew from Fort Macon made it through the narrow channel using parachute flares to light their way and transferred all five people onto their boat.
A Coast Guard helicopter from Elizabeth City provided an overhead light for the trip back to the station.
Officials say there were 6-foot to 8-foot seas at the time, with occasional 10-foot swells, and winds were 35 to 40 mph.
Nobody was hurt.