Coast Guard rescues 3 fishermen from sinking ship off Myrtle Beach coast

Coast Guard rescues 3 fishermen from sinking ship off Myrtle Beach coast
File image of a Coast Guard helicopter crew delivering supplies in Puerto Rico (Source: Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Woodall)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Coast Guard crews rescued three fisherman early Friday morning after their fishing boat sank about 45 miles off the coast of Myrtle Beach, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The fishermen reported their 33-foot fishing vessel, the Aunt T, was sinking and they had to abandon ship into their life raft, the release states.

The Coast Guard Sector Charleston Command Center watchstanders were notified by an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, and were later connected with one of the fishermen via satellite phone.

The Coast Guard Air Station Savannah launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and hoisted the fishermen from their life raft at about 1:19 a.m., officials stated. They were taken to Myrtle Beach International Airport where EMS was waiting.

"The fishermen had a life raft, satellite phone and an EPIRB that directly contributed to us rescuing them so quickly," said Lt. J.B. Zorn, the Sector Charleston public affairs officer. "Their safety equipment took the search out of search and rescue."

The cause of the sinking is under investigation, the release states.

The Aunt T's home port was Jacksonville, Florida.

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