Winds were gusting up to 30 knots when seven people were rescued from this fishing boat. U.S. Coast Guard image.

VIDEO: 7 Rescued from Sportfisher off Mid-Atlantic Coast

A fishing trip on Sunday did not go as planned as all seven people aboard had to be airlifted from their boat 69 miles offshore.

The Coast Guard says a small-craft advisory was in effect with four to six-foot seas and winds gusting up to 30 knots when they got the call: a 40-foot sport fishing boat was overwhelmed by rough conditions southeast of Cape May around 1:20 p.m. Sunday. The seas were reported to be up to 10 feet at times.

USCG says the boat’s crew activated their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) when conditions kept getting worse. Coast Guard crews responded by land and by air, coming from stations in Delaware and North Carolina. In the aircraft video below, you can see the extreme wind and waves that made for frightening conditions on the boat and a challenging rescue for air crews:

All seven people were hoisted out of the water by aircrews from Elizabeth City, N.C., and brought back to land there with local EMS crews waiting to help.

The Coast Guard reminds all boaters to check weather forecasts before heading out on the water.

“One of the scariest and most unpredictable places you can be is out on the water in a storm,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Christopher Petrenko, an operations specialist with the Sector Delaware Bay command center. “Fortunately, they had life jackets, a registered EPIRB and a radio, which they used to call for help. If any one of those pieces had been missing, we might not have been as successful as we were.”

Meg Walburn Viviano