Coast Guard crew had to swim to safety in near-freezing water.
US Coast Guard rescuers performed a dramatic airlift early Thursday morning when a fishing vessel grounded just metres from shore in New York during poor weather.
A 76ft fishing trawler from Virginia, the Carolina Queen III, remains beached in Far Rockaway, New York, on Long Island’s southern shore, after three- to four-metre waves battered and overtopped the the vessel’s gunwales for several hours overnight.
The Coast Guard airlifted the seven fishermen on board to safety using a helicopter and a casualty basket. All seven were taken to hospital for observation.
The airlift began just after dawn, at 7am local time, but the ship’s crew had sent a distress call some five hours earlier, saying they were taking on water.
A Coast Guard rescue boat team from Jones Beach station who first responded to the 2am distress call never reached the stricken scallop fishing boat.
The 25-foot Coast Guard boat flipped over in the heavy conditions, and the five crew members on board — all wearing protective gear — swam to shore in the near-freezing waters and heavy surf.
A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said the fishing trawler will be surveyed before it is moved. The survey is expected to take place when weather conditions improve.
Owner fined thousands for rescue of ‘dangerously unsafe’ vessel
Rescued Russian yachtsman arrested after running aground off Scotland
Coast Guard boat crew trains in heavy surf
Dramatic video posted by the US Coast Guard shows their 42ft boat being pounded by waves during a training exercise.
Video: Final rescue attempts for huge cargo ship headed for French coast
A last-ditch rescue effort is underway to stop an enormous cargo ship from running aground on France's southwest coast.
Watch: five fishermen rescued off the Norwegian coast
Watch the dramatic footage of the trawler capsizing in freezing waters off the Norwegian coast, above the Arctic Circle.