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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Salty Location: Raleigh, NC on Jul 20, 2010 at 12:38 PM
    I am not certain what to think of those joking about this. I know a few of these good people in the story, and I know that it frightened them and their families. Ricky Sykes and several others on this boat were seasoned fishermen and boaters. Whatever made the boat take on water (I understand that they do not know) brought it in so quick and so high that it killed the engine, making electrical bilge pumps worthless. I am just happy they are all safe. There were 3 members of the King family aboard. Can you imagine how you would feel if it were your family?
  • by Anonymous on Jul 19, 2010 at 05:54 AM
    Pete, to overload a 41 footer you'd need a high school onboard. My 26 footer is rated for 10 head after the average amount of gear I carry.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jul 18, 2010 at 01:38 PM
    What was the capacity rating for the boat and load rating?I have seen some boats with way to many on board&hope this was not the case.Glad it had a happy ending.
  • by pamela Location: Va on Jul 18, 2010 at 11:58 AM
    I am sure Ricky was well prepared for this. He has never been a neglegent or careless person. I praise him and the rescuers. He was the real reason this turned out to be a happy ending. People need to get the real facts before they comment.
  • by Bob Location: E NC on Jul 18, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    THANKS COAST GUARD YOU CAME THRU AGAIN
  • by Next Time Location: ENC on Jul 17, 2010 at 06:59 PM
    Next time, I'll bet the Captain checks his bilge pump before taking a boat load of people that far offshore.
  • by pp on Jul 16, 2010 at 11:03 PM
    Glad everyones ok, Great job to the coast guard and other rescue workers. Its easy to forget these people till we need them, thank you to all of them.
  • by Amy Location: Close Friends on Jul 16, 2010 at 07:34 PM
    I can guarantee you EVERYONE on this vessel had fishing licenses. I know these people personally and would bet my life that everythig was above board. For anyone to say or make snide comments about whether they were leagle or not in the tourmament is blasaphemy. These are the most honorable prople you will ever come across. The fact that they all make it out with their lives is truely a blessing from God. Thank God and those who believe that these gifts were samed. Robbi, Taylor, Lauren King - I know you have been kissed by an angel, Ricky Sykes and you family have been kissed as well. Thank the Lord cherrish every single minute you have been given to live out. Embrase it and love it. It is yours. Praise God!
  • by Anonymous on Jul 16, 2010 at 07:24 PM
    boat filled water, not designed for that so sank,boat not new but not old, had rice krispy treats on board
  • by Anonymous on Jul 16, 2010 at 06:20 PM
    what happened to boat
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