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Helicopter Rescues 6 on Disabled Yacht

November 23, 1986|United Press International

NEW YORK — Six people, including four Coast Guardsmen, were hoisted by helicopter Friday from a disabled yacht in a harrowing Atlantic Ocean rescue in 10-foot seas and high winds.

A fifth Coast Guard member, injured during the search and rescue operation, was also airlifted to safety.

"It's quite a storm," said Robert LeValley, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. "The seas were too heavy to transfer the crewmen to a towing vessel."

Two helicopters were sent out from the Coast Guard air station in Brooklyn for the rescue, which took place about 130 miles off the coast, the spokesman said.

A 49-foot motorized yacht, the Skivvy Waver, with two crew members aboard, ran into trouble Thursday about 240 miles east of the entrance to the Delaware Bay.

"The engine broke down due to contaminated fuel," LeValley said.

The yacht was en route to Atlantic City, N.J., from Montauk, N.Y.

The Coast Guard cutter Chilula took the vessel under tow, and four guardsmen boarded the yacht. But high seas and strong winds, and the "physical condition" of the civilians, forced the Coast Guard to call in two helicopters, LeValley said.

"It can get to be a hairy situation when you have a vessel that's bobbing up and down, banging the person around," he said.

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