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Lucky mariners give thanks

A couple and their dog had an unpleasant Thanksgiving morning when their vessel apparently struck a jetty and began rapidly taking on water in Charleston Harbor,S.C., according to a report in the Charleston Post and Courier.

Dewayne and Lynne Wesley of Jacksonville,Fla., contacted the Coast Guard by VHF radio at 7:30 a.m. last Thursday, saying their 63-foot 1984 Cheoy Lee sailboat named Ryota, reportedly valued at nearly $600,000, was sinking near the harbor jetties. The Coast Guard responded, but before they arrived the crew of a passing vessel named Pay Dirt rescued the couple and their canine companion as the boat slipped beneath the surface. The name of the rescuer was not identified in the report.

The Coast Guard says the couple and the dog were in fine condition and the sunken Ryota has not caused any environmental or physical damage in the harbor and did not pose a threat to navigation. Salvage arrangements were made by the Charleston Marine Services and a spotlight was put on the 15 feet of Ryota’s mast left sticking up out of the water to warn other boaters.

The couple said they’re very thankful for their rescuer, according to the report. Investigators say it’s possible that the captain misjudged a turn during high tide.

— Elizabeth Ellis