It was four a.m., perhaps the sleepiest hour of the night, and the two crew and their Siamese cat were enjoying a night sail on their yacht Obsession - but somebody wasn't doing something right because suddenly they were dismasted by a sports fishing boat with six people on board.
Eight people and one pet cat were rescued Friday when the sportfishing boat collided with Obsession in the Atlantic Ocean off Delaware, according to local officials said. No one was injured and all were wearing life jackets.
The collision occurred about seven miles east of Bethany Beach in Delaware off the east coast of the USA, said Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Michael Kristiansen.
Crew members at the Indian River Coast Guard Station heard a mayday call over VHF marine radio after the 41-foot sailboat Obsession collided with the 35-foot sportfishing boat Line Item.
The Line Item, carrying six sportsfishers, quickly began to take on water and started sinking, Kristiansen said.
A Coast Guard crew from Indian River Inlet arrived and rescued the six, who had left the Indian River Marina on Friday morning and were on their way out to the canyons to fish for tuna, Kristiansen said.
The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Ibis, from Cape May, N.J., then arrived and crew members deployed a small boat and rescued the two sailors and their Siamese cat from the Obsession.
Kristiansen complimented both the sailors and the sportsfishers, urged sailors to use safe boating practices, such as wearing life vests , outfitting the vessel with a VHF-FM radio and filing a float plan, but politely didn't mention their watch-keeping practices.
'These mariners utilized vital life-saving equipment on hand, which aided in the safe, effective and timely rescue efforts of all involved,' Kristiansen said.
The rescued boaters were taken to the close-by Indian River Coast Guard Station.