ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WNCN) — Four people were rescued from an overturned 60-foot luxury yacht off the coast of North Carolina on Saturday, officials said.
The incident was reported around 12:20 p.m., about 140 miles southeast of Wilmington, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The distress beacon call came from the Moon Dragon, a catamaran yacht that charters between the Mid-Atlantic and the Virgin Islands.
“The catamaran crew indicated that while at sea, both their port and starboard side hatches broke, leading to catastrophic flooding, which forced them to abandon ship,” the news release said.
The weather at the scene was winds of 35 miles per hour and seas at 11 to 12 feet, the Coast Guard said.
The Moon Dragon was launched in 2021 and has six luxury cabins with room for 10 passengers, according to the website for the vessel. The lowest-priced weekly charter for just two guests is $58,000 with a $69,000 weekly rate for 10 guests, the Sailing Directions website reports.
An HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Elizabeth City launched in response to the distress call. Once on scene, the crew spotted the overturned yacht and a covered liferaft.
The survivors in the raft used a radio to contact the overhead HC-130 crew.
The Coast Guard then launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Elizabeth City. Once on scene, the Jayhawk crew safely hoisted all four people aboard and returned to Air Station Elizabeth City.
The Moon Dragon remains partially submerged, and the Coast Guard is issuing a hazard-to-navigation safety broadcast to notify mariners transiting in the area.
“The ocean is unpredictable and unforgiving, and this case represents perfectly the value of being prepared at sea,” said Petty Officer First Class Austin Lang, operations unit controller.
Hurricane Tammy is currently 60 miles north of Anguilla and is moving northwest at 9 mph. The hurricane is at least 1,000 miles from Wilmington.