From pleasure cruise to air rescue

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At 6:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City (N.C.) received a 406 MHz distress signal from an EPIRB aboard Born, a 43-foot sailboat stranded in rough weather 170 miles east of Elizabeth City, according to a CG press release.

The sailboat, flying a German flag, had departed Washington,D.C., Sunday on its way to the Azores islands when it ran into heavy seas.

A C-130 crew was the first to arrive on the scene shortly after receiving the distress call and began assessing the damage to the vessel. Born had been dismasted and its propeller was fouled.

A Coast Guard HH-60 Jayhawk Rescue helicopter arrived and hoisted each of the crew into the helicopter. Born was abandoned, according to the report.

The passengers arrived ashore with no injuries.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters that as of Feb. 1 2009, only distress alerts from 406 MHz beacons will continue to be detected and processed. All distress alerts on 121.5 MHz or 243 MHz will not instantly be heard.

- Elizabeth Ellis