The Coast Guard hoisted 17 crewmen off a disabled cargo ship 180 nautical miles southeast of Elizabeth City, N.C. today.
Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center, Norfolk (RCC) received a distress signal at 8:04 a.m. reporting that the 600-foot cargo vessel White Seal was disabled, rolling 45-degrees and taking on water.
A Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules and two HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Elizabeth City launched to hoist the crewmen from the ship. Seventeen people were hoiste
d from the ship aboard one of the HH-60 Jayhawks. ”
During the rescue, seas reached heights of 30-40 feet and winds up to 35-45 knots.
Blowing snow and sleet reduced visibility to about one-half mile, he added.
The Hercules and Jayhawk arrived at Wilmington, N.C. International Airport early this afternoon. No injuries were reported.
The White Seal was scheduled to arrive in Bridgeport, Mass. from Haiti on Jan. 22, but was delayed at sea a week due to engine problems. The ship was reportedly not carrying any cargo. White Seal hails from Tonga, a small island in the South Pacific.
The Coast Guard has issued a notice to mariners advising them of the ships location.