Two Boaters Swim For Hour To Island After Boat Broke Up And Sank

Two people whose 14-foot boat broke up at sea survived by swimming to the nearest island off Carteret County Wednesday night.

A friend of the boaters called the Coast Guard after the two left Marshallberg in Carteret County and didn't show up at Jarrett's Bay. The Coast Guard said the friend told them the boat had no lights, electronics or lifejackets onboard.

It was reported that after battling the rough seas and high winds the boat began to fall apart and sink, and the two swam to Bells Island.

The friend told the Coast Guard he saw a fire coming from Bells Island, and he believed it was his friends trying to signal someone.

The Coast Guard headed out to help, broadcasting an urgent notice to mariners. The helicopter crew assisted a Good Samaritan in helping the two boaters back to the Marshallberg dock.

Marshallberg in Carteret County is about three miles west of Cape Lookout. The island is near Marshallberg.

"Both individuals swam for an hour before making landfall at Bells Island," said Petty Officer 1st class Jason Frivance, one of the watchstanders at Sector North Carolina. "The two men were found in good condition."

Water temperatures off the coast are currently in the 50s.

The United States Search and Rescue Task Force has outlined when hypothermia sets in when someone is submerged in water.

Water temperature: 40 to 50 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 30 to 60 minutes
Expected time of survival in the water: 1 to 3 hours

Water temperature: 50 to 60 degrees
Time until exhaustion or unconsciousness: 1 to 2 hours
Expected time of survival in the water: 1 to 6 hours

People have survived longer or shorter periods of time than outlined above. These are estimates.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Dec 12, 2009 at 04:24 PM
    Male or female,I'm glad you guys made it to shore and were rescued. HUU, dayquon is simply stating he wants to be a state trooper, command a Coast Guard cutter, or become a brain surgeon. Now whats so hard about that?
  • by To taxpayer Location: Washington on Dec 12, 2009 at 03:30 PM
    It must suck living your life with nothing but negativity. If you are fed up, I suggest buying a passport. If you must ask why, then you would not understand anyway. Try swimming in these kind of conditions. Very tough indeed. Glad they are okay.
  • by What The He** Location: Carteret County on Dec 12, 2009 at 02:27 PM
    What is goin on? Why all the mystry on this "resque"? We need to get some real stuff. here !!!! Get REAL
  • by lin Location: martin county on Dec 12, 2009 at 06:54 AM
    to Huu? dayquon is glad the men are ok. since he can not be a highway patrol trooper he hopes to join the coast guard.
  • by Fed Up taxpayer Location: Washington on Dec 12, 2009 at 06:53 AM
    I think it's ridiculus that we have to bale out all these government officials all the time. If they had to be out in a boat partying on tax money, then let them rescue themselves. It shouldnt cost us!
  • by Huu? on Dec 12, 2009 at 02:49 AM
    Can someone translate what dayquon is attempting to type? Clueless here.
  • by Mrs Willis Location: Beaufort on Dec 11, 2009 at 09:14 PM
    I know all of the people involved in this situation and this story is not even half of the truth. Unless two separate incidents happened on the same night,around the same time, in the same place. It was a man and a woman, not two guys. The boat did not break up and sink. P.S They are not government Employees!
  • by Retired Coastie Location: overseas on Dec 11, 2009 at 07:25 PM
    Lets see... 14 foot beat up boat no lifjackets no radio or cell phone rough weather - common sense = SAR case. They're lucky to survive. As an ex-gov'ment employee, I agree, must have been state or federal employees. (My vote is for US Navy)
  • by brrrr! on Dec 11, 2009 at 03:43 PM
    its cold swimmin weather, dont you think! glad everyone was alright!
  • by curious Location: greenville on Dec 11, 2009 at 11:41 AM
    After having to "swim for it" how did they light a fire ?
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