The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three fishermen from a sinking vessel off the South Carolina coast Saturday.
The fishermen aboard the 62-foot Christina Leigh called Beaufort County dispatch via cellphon after the ship began to take on water near Calibogue Sound, just south of Hilton Head Island, and their VHF radio was damaged.
Beaufort County contacted the Coast Guard in Charleston, which put out an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched crewmembers from the Tybee Island station at 3:04 p.m. and a helicopter from Savannah, according to a release issued by the Coast Guard.
The helicopter arrived and saw the Christina Leigh listing to the right, getting battered by the surf. The three crewmembers stood on the bow, signaling the helicopter. The helicopter crew directed the 25-foot response boat to the sinking boat and all three fishermen were safely aboard the boat at 4:06 p.m.
None of the fishermen were injured. All were wearing their life jackets.
The Christina Leigh has about 280 gallons of diesel on board. The Coast Guard says investigators have been notified and will attempted to obtain a salvage plan from the owner. An auxiliary aircraft is scheduled to conduct an aerial assessment of the site for potential pollution.