Four Vessels In Trouble Off Cape Hatteras

The Coast Guard says today that four sailing vessels off the North Carolina coast have reported trouble in high seas and howling winds.

Three people were rescued by helicopter from the sailboat "Seaker" about 7:30 a-m and taken to the Coast Guard air base at Elizabeth City for medical evaluation.

That boat ran into trouble in the Diamond Shoals area with 40-knot winds and 16-foot seas.

A Coast Guard spokesman says three people abandoned another sailboat and are on a makeshift life raft about 160 miles east of Cape Hatteras. A rescue helicopter is en route.

The vessel ran into trouble with 34-foot seas and 40-knot winds.

Two more vessels reported trouble about 120 miles off the cape and a C-130 aircraft was dispatched to the scene to see if a helicopter was needed.

The rough seas were stirred by a low pressure area off the coast that is bringing high winds.