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Coast Guard, good Samaritans assist boat taking on water

 Coast Guard crews and good Samaritans assisted eight people aboard a vessel taking on water 30 miles southeast of Oregon Inlet on Saturday morning.

Watchstanders at Sector North Carolina’s command center in Wilmington received notification via VHF-FM channel 16 at 6:40 a.m. that the 44-foot charter fishing vessel Miss Nell had struck a submerged object and was taking on water.

A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Station Oregon Inlet in Nags Head and an  MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City launched to assist.

While the Coast Guard crews were en route, a good Samaritan from a nearby vessel climbed aboard the Miss Nell and used a dewatering pump to reduce the flooding. Other good Samaritans remained nearby to provide support.

Upon arriving on scene, the Jayhawk crew lowered a rescue swimmer and dewatering pump to the vessel to continue managing the flooding while the Miss Nell’s crew began transiting ashore.

The MLB crew arrived and towed the Miss Nell back to Wanchese Harbor.

“Community members and Coast Guard crews came together today to help people in need,” said Seaman Khoi Vu, a communications watchstander at Station Oregon Inlet. “Oregon Inlet can pose a challenging, hazardous environment to mariners. We urge everyone to exercise caution when getting underway in the area, and to call for assistance right away when they need it.”