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8 rescued after boat sinks during fishing tournament

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TWC News: 8 rescued after boat sinks during fishing tournament
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CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. -- Eight people competing in a charity team fishing tournament are safe after their boat sank Friday. It happened at the Barta Billfish Tournament, which raises money for the Boys & Girls Club.

Rick Sykes says he and seven other people were on the boat "Reel Time" when it took on water and started sinking around 9 a.m.

"We jumped off, inflated the raft on the front of the boat, grabbed our life jackets and waited for someone to come," said Sykes.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the Pedro Rescue Helicopter arrived on the scene about an hour later.

"Our hats definitely go off to the coordinators of this, as well as the first responders that got out there quickly, which I think in this case had a very positive ending," said Cmdr. Brian Thompson.

None of the eight people on board suffered any injuries. Sykes said he tried to make the time go by quickly.

"Try to joke with each other a little bit just to kind of keep you from panicking and so we knew help was on the way," he said. "We kept floating and floating and floating and finally I saw a helicopter come."

Tournament officials say this is the first time something like this has happened in the tournament's seven-year history. There's no word what caused the boat to sink, but officials say it's a total loss.

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