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Three Stranded at Sea in Fishing Boat. Beg for Help Over Radio, Then Coast Guard Answers

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Robert A. Heinlein’s famous 1966 novel “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” earned praise from critics and science fiction fans alike for its strikingly believable portrayal of humanity trying to establish a lunar colony.

But it also did an impressive job of showing the simple physical difficulties of trying to live in a challenging environment.

That’s a truth that humanity has known for thousands of years. Even when we’re just talking about our mother earth, we know that much of it is downright hostile toward us — especially our oceans and seas.

That’s a truth that a trio of fishermen learned on May 22. The group had gone boating off of Oregon Inlet, a section of North Carolina coast where barrier islands open up into the Atlantic Ocean.

The vessel, a 28-foot-long recreational fishing boat dubbed Clock Work, was certainly suited for enjoying open water on a sunny day. But it wasn’t the kind of ship where you’d want to try and ride out a major leak.

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Of course, that was exactly what happened. Clock Work began taking on water just after noon.

The three occupants wisely fired up the bilge pump. Then they radioed the Coast Guard for help.

I doubt that most of us think of the Coast Guard as a fast-response force. But the nearby response crews leapt into action as soon as they received the distress call.

An HC-130 Hercules search-and-rescue plane that had launched from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City earlier immediately diverted toward the stranded group. Then a 47-foot vessel set out from a station near Nags Head.

But those weren’t the only ones who came to the trio’s aid. When the Coast Guard arrived, they discovered that a private vessel had pulled alongside Clock Work and was ensuring that its occupants remained safe.



Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Green praised the helpful civilians, as well as the stranded vessel’s captain for making sure to keep communications equipment on board.

“A marine radio is more reliable than a cellphone and is a crucial piece of equipment for any mariner to have on their boat,” he explained to The News & Observer.

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“The owner of the ‘Clock Work’ was wise to keep a radio on board and to use it as soon as things went wrong. We’re glad we were able to team up with the aircrew and the good Samaritan to escort them to safety.”

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A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine.
A graduate of Wheaton College with a degree in literature, Loren also adores language. He has served as assistant editor for Plugged In magazine and copy editor for Wildlife Photographic magazine. Most days find him crafting copy for corporate and small-business clients, but he also occasionally indulges in creative writing. His short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies and magazines. Loren currently lives in south Florida with his wife and three children.
Education
Wheaton College
Location
Florida
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Entertainment, Faith, Travel




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