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A file photo of a US Coast Guard Jayhawk search and rescue helicopter

Stock Photo: Eric Glenn/Shutterstock

Four Missing Divers Rescued Off Cape Fear, North Carolina

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3043
August 14, 2023

The U.S. Coast Guard and Navy rescued four missing divers Monday approximately 46 miles southeast of Cape Fear River, North Carolina. The men had been missing after they didn’t resurface from a dive the day before.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a notification from Coast Guard Sector Charleston who reported that four men diving from the recreational boat Big Bill’s, approximately 63 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina near noon, had not resurfaced.

Coordinating with Sector Charleston, Sector North Carolina launched a multi-asset search and rescue effort.

A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City HC-130 Hercules airplane crew notified Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders at 12:45 a.m. that they had spotted an SOS-strobe light, located the four missing divers, and launched a life raft. 

A Coast Guard Station Oak Island 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew arrived on location with the Porter and transferred the divers aboard. The boatcrew arrived at the station at approximately 6:10 a.m. and reunited the uninjured divers with friends and family.

The sea state was reported as about 2-3 feet with 10-knot winds.

“Any time the Coast Guard launches for a search and rescue case, it is always our hope and goal to be able to reunite those we are searching for with their friends and families,” said Capt. Timothy List, commander of Coast Guard Sector North Carolina. “In this case that is exactly what took place, which is always a great feeling for our rescue crews.”

Rescue crews involved included:  

  • An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina   
  • An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew from Air Station Elizabeth City 
  • A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Oak Island, North Carolina 
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, an 87-foot patrol boat from Portsmouth, Virginia
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Yellowfin, an 87-foot patrol boat from Charleston, South Carolina 
  • U.S. Navy Destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78)

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