The Coast Guard Rescue of the SeaBreeze off the Outer Banks
On December 17, 2000, Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, performed one of the most heroic rescues in the history of the service. The cruise ship SeaBreeze I was listing, battered by hurricane-force winds and thirty-five-foot seas. The ship and the lives of its thirty-four crewmen were in imminent peril. A rescue helicopter arrived and, seeing that the vessel could capsize at any moment, hoisted twenty-six of the crew to safety, a record for a single helicopter rescue. A second helicopter, designated for the celebration of the Wright brothers' first flight, arrived on scene in time to rescue the remaining crew. Rear Admiral Carlton Moore tells the complete history of this daring rescue, including never-before-printed radio messages from the rescuers.