Coast Guard rescues 3 people clinging to overturned sailboat

Courtesy photoA man is hoisted aboard a Coast Guard rescue helicopter after he was plucked from his overturned sailboat Saturday.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The U.S. Coast Guard rescued three people who were found clinging to the hull of their overturned sailboat about 20 miles off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

A Coast Guard helicopter found the three waving from the water on Friday night. A distress call had come via the sailboat's EPIRB, or emergency position indicating radio beacon in at about 4:20 p.m.

The three were safely hoisted into the helicopter and were taken to Pease Air National Guard Base in Newington, where they were evaluated by emergency personnel. No injuries were reported.

“A vessel is significantly easier to spot in the ocean than a person,” said Lt. Robert Turley, the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter pilot out Air Station Cape Cod. “Mariners who stay with their vessel help take some of the search out of ‘search and rescue’ and this undoubtedly contributed to the success of this case.”

It wasn't immediately known what caused the 42-foot boat, Triad, to overturn. Weather on scene was 20 mph winds and 5-foot seas, according to the Coast Guard.

The vessel, which was covered by a tarp, was left for commercial salvage. 

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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