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Boat Sinks Off Beaufort, Eight People Rescued

Eight people spent almost an hour in the water after their fishing boat sank out in the Atlantic Friday morning. The group was rescued safely.

Those rescued were part of the Barta Boys & Girls Club Billfish Tournament.

Rick Sykes was one of the resced fisherman. He said: "We had the lifejackets, we had the flotation, I don't know what we could've done differently. It was just nice to have good equipment on the boat and people responding quickly. We kept kind of trying to joke with each other a little bit just to kind of keep you from panicking I guess and so we knew help was on the way and we kept floating and floating and floatins and finally I saw a helicopter coming so I knew were good to go."

Officials say a 41-foot sport fisher sank. They tell WITN the Navy vessel "Tempest" brought in five people, the Coast Guard rescued two people and a Marine Corps helicopter from Cherry Point, PEDRO, brought in one person.

The Coast Guard has released pictures of the rescue. To view some of those, please click the "Photos" tab at the top of the story.

The boat, "Reel Time," was off the coast of Carteret County, about 12 to 15 miles off Beaufort and about six miles off Cape Lookout, when it sank.

The boat started taking on water in three to five foot seas. Those on board tried to pump it out, but were unsuccessful. All eight people ended up in the water with life jackets for about 45 minutes to an hour before help arrived. One of those rescued said they all joked with each other, trying to stay calm.

Most of the people on the boat were young adults, but the youngest was 15.

According to its website, the Barta Billfish Tournament is in its seventh year and started Thursday with 81 boats participating.


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