Coast Guard motor lifeboat towing Island Hopper as the sun rises over the Atlantic.

Coast Guard motor lifeboat towing Island Hopper as the sun rises over the Atlantic.

The Coast Guard is still on the job and still saving stranded mariners. Even after 105 years—or more, depending on how the founding of the service is viewed.

Friday night the sailing vessel Island Hopper reported water in the their fuel causing an engine failure. The ship was on the east side of Diamond Shoals about 7.5 miles from Cape Point. Luckily the wind was offshore, so there was little danger of the Island Hopper grounding on the shoals.

The Coast Guard crew got underway from the Hatteras Station at 1:20 a.m. in a 47’ motor lifeboat.

The crew located the Island Hopper and took her under tow.

It was a slow trek back to Hatteras Inlet. As the sun rose and the day went on, another 47’ MLB was dispatched to relieve the first crew.

Motor Lifeboat and sailing ship finally made it to Oden’s dock in Hatteras at 5:40 in the afternoon.

We don’t hear as much about ocean rescues as we once did. There are a lot of reasons for that. Better navigation information, much improved weather forecasting and modern communications that prevent problems before they arise. But not every situation can be foreseen, as the Island Hopper demonstrated.

A Short History of the Coast Guard on the Outer Banks

The Coast Guard has been a part of the Outer Banks since 1871. At that time it was known as the Lifesaving Service and reminders of that time are still around.

The Black Pelican Restaurant in Kitty Hawk was once a Lifesaving Service station. The Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station in Rodanthe is a museum and is considered the most complete Lifesaving Station in the nation. The staff gives regular demonstration of the equipment and techniques the lifesaving crews used.

The Outer Banks has been a part of our history since the first attempt at an English colony on Roanoke Island in 1586. Explore the fascinating history when staying in a Brindley Beach Vacations home.