The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and two Good Samaritans rescued 13 people off the coast of Virginia on Friday after their fishing vessel collided with a 1,000-foot container ship and began to sink, officials said.
The crew of the Tremont, a 115-foot commercial fishing vessel, sent out a mayday call around 2 a.m. from approximately 63 miles southeast of the offshore island Chincoteague, the USCG said.
The crew said their vessel collided with the 1000-foot Panamanian-flagged container vessel, MSC Rita, and were abandoning the sinking ship.
USCG boat and helicopter crews responded to the area, along with two Good Samaritan vessels, the research vessel Atlantis and motor vessel Drystan.
The Atlantis launched a small boat to ferry 12 members of the Tremont crew to the Drystan. The USCG helicopter crew hoisted the vessel’s captain from the sinking ship.
All crew members and the captain were transported to safety. No injuries were reported.
“Safety of life at sea is the Coast Guard’s top priority,” said Capt. Jennifer Stockwell, commander of Sector Virginia. “These are the life-saving missions for which we train each and every day. While this morning’s events were unfortunate, 13 people were rescued from an extremely perilous situation. The combined efforts of Good Samaritans and Coast Guard response assets demonstrates a selfless commitment to others.”
No further details about the collision between the two vessels were immediately released as officials continue the investigation.