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.