A U.S. Coast Guard aircrew rescued four people from a sinking fishing boat Wednesday, about 18 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
The captain of the vessel Sea Star radioed watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at about 6:20 p.m., reporting their vessel was taking on water, listing heavily, and they were donning their immersion suits.
Diverting from a training flight, aircrews from an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter and HC-144 Ocean Sentry arrived on scene. Once it was determined the vessel could not be saved, the helicopter aircrew ordered the fishermen into the water and deployed a rescue swimmer to airlift the crew safely into the helicopter.
The aircrew flew the survivors back to Air Station Cape Cod where
they were evaluated by awaiting Emergency Medical Services and reported to be in good health.
"The most important things the crew did was activate their EPIRB and don their immersion suits," said Scott Backholm, a command duty officer at Sector Southeastern New England. "The EPIRB activation allowed us to get their exact location and arrive as quickly as possible, and the suits kept them protected from the cold water."
The water temperature was 37 degrees. The seas were five feet with 20-25 knot winds.
The fishing vessel has sank, and a safety marine bulletin is being issued notifying nearby mariners of the potential navigation hazard of the debris field.