Five people, including three children, were rescued from dark and stormy North Carolina waters late Friday night, hours before Tropical Storm Ophelia made landfall.
Two adults and three children, ages 4, 7, and 10, were aboard a 38-foot sailboat in Lookout Bay at Cape Lookout, but the boat’s owner said dangerous conditions forced it into the narrow channel. I decided that it was not comfortable and reported it. Call the North Carolina Coast Guard for help from your cell phone. According to the press release.
At that point, 10-foot-high waves and 40-mph wind gusts were rocking the moored boat.
At 6:15 a.m. the next morning, a powerful tropical storm made landfall on Emerald Island, just a few miles from Lookout Bay, bringing 110 mph winds and rough seas.
The 45-foot response boat used parachute flares to navigate the narrow channel and reached the anchored catamaran just before 9 p.m.
All five passengers were taken on board and no one was injured.
helicopter, Seen in a video posted by the Coast Guardwhich assisted in a daring late-night rescue and provided light from above to help return to station.
The group safely arrived at the station at 10:22 p.m.
The sailboat remains anchored and will be inspected by local salvage crews after Tropical Storm Ophelia passes, the Coast Guard said in a statement.
North Carolina officials declared a state of emergency Friday due to the storm.
The National Hurricane Center warned that some areas were expected to experience storm surges more than 6 feet high, causing life-threatening flooding.
Ophelia’s influence was felt across the Outer Banks on Friday.
The region experienced flooding and widespread power outages on Saturday as rain and strong winds were expected to continue into the weekend.