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3 men get rescued from sinking boat

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Nov 14 2012 06:11:16 PM CST
ATLANTIC OCEAN -

A captain comes to the rescue when he overhears a distress call from a nearby boat near Cape Lookout that was sinking.

This 25-foot Carolina Classic boat was once a beauty on the Atlantic, is now resting 80-feet below the water.

"I looked at the boat and saw him waving a life jacket and I turned to my buddy and said 'buddy they're sinking,'" Captain Tom Trevathan said.

Trevathan was fishing nearby when he and his crew decided to take action.

"It was a little scary knowing that if they went in the water it would have been tough and they probably would have lived thirty-minutes [because the water temperature was so cold]. So, we were glad to be there and glad to get them off," he said.

The three men on board "Tobacco Man" had called for help to the Coast Guard at Fort Macon Sunday morning. However, it was Captain Tom and his crew who got to them first.

The owner of the boat, Dwight Rouse, believes a hose came off at some point in their travels to a fishing hot spot called "1700 Rock." That's near Cape Lookout.

"[The boat started to sink] pretty fast. See this boat is 25-foot with a cabin on it so it had a lot of space it had to fill. But it was probably 3-2 feet in the water at the time we called the Coast Guard," Rouse said.

A scary experience his first mate, Jerry Tolbert is having trouble forgetting.

"I'm still a little shaky over it. We're supposed to go back on a boat next week to go on a cruise. So hopefully it won't sink. That will be my first excursion on a boat," Tolbert said.

"This one went down in about thirty minutes after we pulled em' off," Captain Tom said. We asked if that was normal and Captain Tom responded, "ah, I don't know it went down pretty fast to me."

The Coast Guard never showed up for the rescue. The boat owner tells us it is standard protocol that once a crew is rescued, the coast guard doesn't have to come out to the scene.

The sunken boat is estimated at $50,000. Rouse said he plans to get another boat at some point and he plans to name it "Tobacco Man 2."

Rouse said he originally came up with the name because he worked in the tobacco business for 25 years.