Coast Guard returns distressed boaters to harbor

      CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- U.S. Coast Guard officials said the USCG Cutter "Tarpon" has returned with two boaters who were in distress 133 miles southeast of Charleston.

      Officials say the "Tarpon" returned early Wednesday morning. Sea Tow met the ship to take the boaters where they needed to go.

      Earlier in the week, the two boaters were said to be extremely fatigued and sea sick. The cutter crew towed the sailboat back to Charleston.

      Coast Guard officials say the mariners, a 35-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman, radioed their need for help around 7:15 p.m. Monday night. The boaters reported their 38-foot sailing vessel{} had become beset by weather. The boaters said they were too exhausted to continue sailing. The boaters aboard the "Sea Heather" reported no injuries or medical concerns.

      A crew aboard an HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was launched to respond at 8:54 p.m. The Hercules crew got on scene with the vessel at 10:12 p.m., to establish communications.

      The crew of the commercial tug boat "OSG Horizon" was on scene with the distressed vessel to monitor their situation until the Tarpon crew arrived.

      The "OSG Horizon" is a ship registered with the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System. AMVER is a computer-based voluntary global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.