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Coast Guard Rescues 4 Sailors Between Md. & N.C. During Winter Storm

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Assateague Island Coast Guard rescue
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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WORCHESTER COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)—There are new details of more rescues at sea during Wednesday’s big storm off the coast.

Alex DeMetrick reports besides the fisherman saved off Assateague Island in Maryland, the Coast Guard also rescued three others further south.

Wednesday’s storm may have taken it easy on Maryland, but it looked like this out in the Atlantic: waves rocked a freighter like a toy, throwing one crewman so hard he sustained serious chest injuries.

The Coast Guard responded.

It was one of three rescue calls between Maryland and North Carolina.

Patrick Small survived the sinking of the fishing boat he was on off Assateague Island.

But 80-year-old Walter Tate and his 60-year-old nephew Stephen Tate did not.

“The waves came and smashed our side in. It started filling up with water. The water had me pinned to the roof. A second later, the pressure just ripped the roof off and crumbled the cabin. Washed me out the back,” Small described.

Small spent 90 minutes in the water and another hour in a life raft, on the verge of freezing to death before his rescue.

Further south, another rescue crew went into the water to save two Annapolis men whose sailboat was sinking off Carolina.

They also survived.

While it was possible to pull off amazing rescues from the air, on the water it was a different story.

A Coast Guard crew feared for safety on its way to the fishing boat off Assateague.

“There was a point where we actually went from a search mode to a survival mode ourselves.  Actually went into some of the worst sea conditions I’ve ever seen in my 20 years in service,” a Coast Guardsman said.

With its onboard computer sounding a warning, the injured man aboard the freighter was lifted off to safety.

The condition of the man rescued from the freighter is unknown.

But the two Annapolis sailors saved off the Carolina coast were provided with medical treatment, dry clothes and a place to stay by the Red Cross.

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