The United States Coast Guard successfully rescued 13 Americans mere minutes before their 105-foot yacht sank beneath the waves. No one was injured or killed during the rescue mission.
The yacht sent a distress call at around 6 p.m. Monday evening saying that it was taking on too much water. It only took two hours for the vessel to flood and sink, stern first. There were 13 civilians on board.
“It just gradually took on more and more water and then it went down by the stern and rolled,” said Sea Tow Captain Tim Morgan. “Then it went under the waves.”
You can see the size difference between the yacht and the Coast Guard ship in the rescue photo above. Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said the weather conditions, time frame and sheer vastness of the yacht made this rescue a stressful one.
“It was an extremely hectic situation,” Rios said. “It was choppy seas, high winds. It was not the most favorable weather, but at the same time, we have some of the most proficient crews is the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue, so they were able to do it successfully.”
The Coast Guard quickly responded to the call and rescued everyone on board. Several ‘good samaritan vessels’ nearby the yacht allowed the displaced passengers on board so they could get safe passage back to the shore.
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) January 26, 2016
Morgan said it was lucky that the yacht began to sink only 13 miles away from shore. If it were any further, the Coast Guard might not have gotten there in time to save anyone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible for the vessel itself to be saved.
“The amount of water it was taking and how quickly the boat sank, really, I don’t think much anybody would have been able to do,” Morgan said.