Video: Four Airlifted from Grounded Fishing Vessel in the Surf Zone

Video still courtesy USCG

Published Feb 7, 2020 5:10 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Friday morning, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aircrew rescued four men after their fishing vessel ran aground near Shackleford Banks, North Carolina, a few miles from Cape Lookout.

At about 0330 hours, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina’s command center received a distress call from a crewmember aboard the vessel Tamara Alane. The crewmember reported that the vessel had been disabled due to fuel issues, then ran aground and began taking on water. 

The crewmembers asked to be removed due to harsh weather conditions. A gale warning was in effect for the Cape Lookout area on Friday, with westerly winds of 25-35 knots and seas of nine to 12 feet. 

An aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Elizabeth City launched to the scene. On arrival, the aircrew lowered their rescue swimmer to assist. Two members of the vessel's crew managed jump over the side into the water and wade through the surf to shore, and the remaining two were lifted off the vessel's deck. The helicopter transported the survivors to Michael J. Smith Airport in Beaufort.

There were no reported injuries or visible signs of pollution. The Coast Guard plans to monitor the grounded vessel and salvage operations.

“The fishermen did the right thing by calling us as soon as possible,” said Chief Warrant Officer Kristen Auer, command duty officer at the Sector North Carolina command center.“With the deteriorating weather conditions, the situation could have gone from bad to worse.” 

In 2008, the Tamara Alane was involved in a rescue herself when she came to the aid of a fishing vessel that had caught fire off the coast of New Jersey.