Two men rescued from disabled sailboat off NC coast

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two men, whose sailboat became disabled off Cape Lookout.

Jim Southward and Pat Schoenberger called for help after their sailboat, the Andante ll, lost engine power Wednesday at 5:34 p.m., at about 25 miles east of Cape Lookout, according to the Coast Guard. The boat was taking on water.

A helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City was deployed. When the rescuers arrived at the scene, Southward and Schoenberger jumped into the water and swam away from the sailboat, allowing the helicopter crew to hoist them up while avoiding the boat's 41-foot mast, according to the Coast Guard.

The two men were not injured.

"Being able to talk directly to the two sailors on Marine 16 removed a lot of their uncertainty and kept them engaged through the rescue process," said Lt. Jenny Fields, the helicopter pilot who flew during the rescue. "We kept them updated of our position and our progress in devising a way to get them safely off their vessel and into the helicopter. The sailor's radio discipline and effective communication with the Coast Guard throughout the day played a huge role in their rescue."

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