PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard rescued a mariner Monday from a disabled sailboat reportedly taking on water approximately 74 miles off the coast of Beaufort Inlet.

A transiting container ship reported the vessel to Sector North Carolina watchstanders, who initiated the launch of a Station Fort Macon 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew, an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City. 

Once on scene, the helicopter crew was unable to deliver a dewatering pump or deploy a rescue swimmer due to the sea state. The initial responding boat crew took the vessel in tow upon arrival and was relieved of the tow by another station MLB crew closer to shore.

The two crews towed the vessel for a combined 10 hours in 4 to 6-foot seas and more than 20 mph winds, before passing the tow Tuesday to commercial salvage inside Beaufort Inlet.

“When operating offshore every prudent mariner should check and ensure their vessel is equipped with proper safety gear, such as life jackets, flares and marine band VHF radio,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Allen, a search and rescue mission coordinator with Sector North Carolina.

“We highly recommend carrying an operable—and properly registered—emergency position indicating radio beacon, or EPRIB, which can make a huge difference in a maritime emergency. We also recommend always filing a float plan and check on the weather and sea conditions prior to leaving the dock.”