The Coast Guard rescued two people who jumped from a sinking commercial fishing vessel Thursday approximately five miles from Engelhard, N.C. in Pamlico Sound.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received notification at approximately 2 a.m. from the 35-foot fishing vessel, Heathers Breeze, stating they were taking on water. 

A Coast Guard Station Hatteras Inlet 47-foot motor lifeboat responded and passed over a P-6 pump to assist with dewatering. The mariners were unable to operate the pump, so a Coast Guard crew member boarded the Heathers Breeze to help.

The Coast Guard crew member explained how to prime the pump then disembarked back to the lifeboat. About ten minutes later the vessel began sinking and the two mariners abandoned ship. 

Both fishermen were recovered from the water by the lifeboat crew with no reported injuries and taken to Station Hatteras Inlet. 

“The maritime environment is often unpredictable and preparedness is crucial,” said Stephen Sawyer, a Sector North Carolina command duty officer. “We recommend commercial fishing vessels contact their local Coast Guard commercial fishing safety examiner for a comprehensive safety exam, have a reliable means of communication, and always wear a life jacket.”



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