A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew rescued three fishermen off Myrtle Beach around 1 a.m. Friday after their boat sank, according to the Coast Guard.
The fishermen told the Coast Guard they had to abandon their 33-foot fishing vessel Aunt T late Thursday night as it was sinking about 45 miles east of Myrtle Beach, the Coast Guard said.
A helicopter crew from the Coast Guard's air station in Savannah launched after the fishermen sent an emergency signal and then were able to talk to the rescuers by satellite phone around midnight.
Rescuers reached the fishermen at 1:19 a.m. Friday and hoisted the fishermen from a life raft to the helicopter and took the three to an ambulance waiting at Myrtle Beach International Airport.
"The fishermen had a life raft, satellite phone and an EPIRB that directly contributed to us rescuing them so quickly," said Lt. J.B. Zorn, the Sector Charleston public affairs officer. "Their safety equipment took the search out of search and rescue."
The fishing vessel was from Jacksonville, Florida. Why the boat sank remains under investigation, according to the Coast Guard.