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  Hypothermic fishermen rescued after vessel capsizes off Oregon Inlet   Coast Guard rescues five people from overturned boat in Oregon Inlet  

Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on Wednesday April 28, 2021 - 9:38 AM
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Oregon Inlet, North Carolina - The Coast Guard rescued five people from a capsized vessel offshore Oregon Inlet, Tuesday.

All five survivors were rescued and are being treated for hypothermia.

At approximately 5:25 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received a report from the Dare County Sheriff's Office 911 Communications Center that a 26-foot recreational vessel was taking on water six miles from Oregon Inlet with five people on board.

A 47-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet was launched to provide assistance. At 6:06 p.m., the boat crew located the capsized vessel near the last known position provided by Dare County dispatch. Two people were located in the water and three people were sitting on the hull of the overturned vessel. The boat crew retrieved all five passengers and transported them to Station Oregon Inlet where they were met by local EMS and taken to the Outer Banks Hospital for further treatment.

"Thankfully, these mariners were prepared. Donning life jackets and staying near their capsized vessel was the absolute right decision," said Cmdr. Courtney Sergent, Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator at Sector North Carolina. "Due to their quick actions, our Coast Guard crews and local partners were able to locate them and bring them safely home to their families."


Why is Oregon Inlet so dangerous?


Swells From Hell


by Bob Mcnally

Oregon Inlet, North Carolina

During the height of the striped bass run in November and December, it's common for 300 boats per day to head out to Oregon Inlet.

That's one reason Dan Willard, an avid angler and retired Coast Guardsman from the Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet, calls it one of the most dangerous places on the East Coast.

"The water is cold and rough, and anglers chasing big stripers sometimes forget how dangerous a place Oregon Inlet can be," Willard says. "Fishermen are working lures and baits in inlet white water, and get so caught up in the action they don't pay enough attention to incoming waves and they get in trouble."

Willard says five or six striper boats capsize in Oregon Inlet every fall, usually resulting in some deaths.

Oregon Inlet is most dangerous with an east or northeast wind, which causes sandbars to shift and change. Such bars and their whitewater breakers offer some of the best fall striper fishing, so they're targeted by Oregon Inlet anglers in small boats. Naturally, this creates the potential for danger. Lose boat power at the wrong moment; have a rogue wave break at an odd angle to your boat; or get a skiff turned crosscurrent, and you can quickly get into serious trouble.