Four crew members from the luxury charter catamaran Moon Dragon are safe after being rescued 140 miles off the coast of North Carolina.
The 2021 Moon Yacht 60 flybridge catamaran Moon Dragon debuted at the 2022 Annapolis Boat Shows. It offers charters between the Mid-Atlantic and the Virgin Islands. The crewed charter boat with quartz walls and teak flooring can accommodate up to 10 overnight guests and can entertain 20 people on the flybridge. It has a private chef with a pizza oven and barista machine. It comes with water toys including personal watercraft, an eFoil, wakeboard, tube, standup paddleboards and snorkel gear for 12. The weekly price ranges from $58,000 (low season) to $69,000 (high season).
It was listed for sale in August at a price of $2.49 million.
Moon Dragon was fresh off a stint at the 2023 Annapolis Sailboat Show when its Canadian crew activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) around noon on Saturday.
The Coast Guard says the 5th District Command Center in Portsmouth, Virginia received the signal and launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane crew from Air Station Elizabeth City. The plane crew spotted the overturned catamaran and a covered life raft nearby. The sailors in the life raft were able to connect with the Hercules crew on the radio to ask for help.
The sailors were about 140 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and they told the Coast Guard that both their port and starboard side hatches broke while they were at sea, leading to catastrophic flooding which forced them to abandon ship.
At the time, weather conditions included winds of 35 miles per hour and seas at 11 to 12 feet.
A Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter launched and safely airlifted all four people from the life raft. Watch below:
The survivors were brought to shore to be checked out by EMS and no injuries were reported, the Coast Guard says.
The Coast Guard praised the charter boat’s crew for taking the right safety precautions for an unexpected emergency situation like the one that unfolded.
“The ocean is unpredictable and unforgiving, and this case represents perfectly the value of being prepared at sea,” said Petty Officer First Class Austin Lang, operations unit controller.
He said the EPIRB, a proper radio, and a functional life raft were all major factors in the success of the rescue.
“These sailors had the right gear on board, it worked, they knew how to use it, and it’s because of that we were able to find them and bring them home safely.”
As of Sunday, the Moon Dragon remained partially submerged. The Coast Guard issued a hazard-to-navigation safety broadcast to notify mariners in the area.
-Meg Walburn Viviano