Coast Guard boat overturns in NY inlet; crew swims to safety
New York — A 25-foot Coast Guard vessel flipped over early Thursday while assisting a 76-foot fishing boat that ran aground in an inlet off New York City, resulting in dramatic rescue efforts but no serious injuries, authorities said.
Five Coast Guard crew members, wearing protective gear, swam to shore after their boat capsized in 10 to 12 foot waves following an overnight storm, according to spokeswoman Ali Flockerzi. Seven fishermen were lifted to safety in a helicopter basket and taken to a hospital for observation.
The events unfolded after the Coast Guard got a distress call at 2 a.m. from the Carolina Queen III. The fishing boat initially was taking on water. Its crew got that under control, but then ran aground.
The fishing boat got stuck about 100 feet from shore in the Rockaway section of Queens, Flockerzi said. Both vessels, including the one that capsized, eventually drifted to shore and were secured. Meanwhile, a Coast Guard helicopter was sent to the scene from Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“All mariners were secure” by 7 a.m., Flockerzi said.
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