PORTSMOUTH, Va. – The Coast Guard rescued 11 people from the water Wednesday after an airboat capsized near Oregon Inlet, in North Carolina.
A Dare County, North Carolina, dispatcher contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina at about 10:15 a.m. Wednesday to relay that the OBX 1, a 20-foot airboat, capsized about half of a mile west of Oregon Inlet. The dispatcher also said various degrees of injuries were reported and that all passengers were reported to be wearing life jackets.
Coast Guard watchstanders dispatched a 27-foot Shallow Water Response Boat and a 29-foot Response Boat from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet.
An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrew from Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, also diverted from local training operations to provide oversight and on-scene communications.
The Oregon Inlet rescue boat crews arrived on scene and immediately retrieved one person from the water who had been pinned under the airboat and was suffering from a potential chest and head injury.
Watchstanders requested a Dare County Life Flight helicopter crew to assist with transporting the person to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital while the Coast Guard crews retrieved the remaining ten people from the water.
The survivors were all taken to Station Oregon Inlet where their care was transferred to awaiting emergency medical services personnel. Two people were reported to have serious injuries.
Commercial salvage towed the OBX 1 to Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo, North Carolina.
The incident is under investigation by Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment Nags Head.