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Coast Guard saves 4 off Virginia coast

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - The Coast Guard says crews saved four people and assisted others off the Virginia and North Carolina coasts.

Officials say the Coast Guard with the assistance of the Navy responded to a total of five sailboats in distress off the Atlantic Coast on Thursday and Friday.

Four people were hoisted by helicopter from a 41-foot sailboat participating in the Salty Dawg Rally. The crew had sent out a distress signal stating that they were taking on water about 230 miles east of Virginia Beach.

The helicopter refueled aboard the USS Vella Gulf.

The Coast Guard responded to several other boats to follow up on distress signals, including helping a 54-foot sailboat that was disabled about 100 miles east of Oregon Inlet, N.C.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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