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Coast Guard rescues two boaters 170 miles off Cape Hatteras

A team from Elizabeth City Air Station hovered over the boat, lowered a rescuer down, and picked up both crewmembers from the water near the Bali Hai.
Proposed Coast Guard mural in Elizabeth City, North Carolina.

NAGS HEAD, N.C. — Monday afternoon, about 170 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, the US Coast Guard rescued two people from a sailboat with failed engines.

Responders captured the daring MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue on video.

A release from the Coast Guard said the 52-foot sailboat, Bali Hai, first contacted the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) to share its emergency position. 

The captain said he "was concerned about staying aboard due to rough weather and high seas."

The IERCC passed the location on to the Coast Guard's 5th District Command Center, and teams from the Elizabeth City air station immediately dispatched the helicopter and a C-130J Hercules aircraft.

They hovered over the boat, lowered a rescuer down, and picked up both crewmembers from the water near the Bali Hai. There were no injuries reported.

Chief Petty Officer Charles Reaves, a watchstander at the Coast Guard 5th District Command Center, took the incident as a chance to remind people to have proper emergency equipment when on the water.

"We cannot stress enough how critical it is to have a properly registered EPIRB," Reaves wrote. "While having an EPIRB aboard your vessel is important, having it accurately registered allows rescuers be able to determine your location and information in an emergency situation more quickly."