New Hampshire

Sailor, Coast Guard Pilot Recall Rescue Off NH: There's No Time for Fear'

The junior pilot said it was his first time saving lives while at the controls of a helicopter

NBC Universal, Inc.

After his boat capsized off the coast of New Hampshire, Gloucester sailor Tom Cox is recalling how he was rescued.

After sailing his 42-foot trimaran for 29 years, Cox was overconfident on Friday, he told NBC10 Boston Wednesday, thinking his boat, the Triad, was fast enough to outrun an incoming storm.

"On the horizon, we saw cumulus clouds and rain slanted down," Cox said.

He was wrong -- his boat wasn't able to outrun the storm.

"The other crew members were thrown clear from boat, but I was trapped underneath in the cockpit, so I had to swim down and out from underneath the boat, and jump on the wing," Cox said.

Video from the U.S. Coast Guard First District shows Cox and his two crew members on top of the Triad, after his beloved boat capsized around 4:20 p.m. Friday.

"There's no time for fear because it doesn't accomplish anything," Cox said, when asked if he was scared.

The Coast Guard rescued three people from an overturned sailboat.

A salt water-activated alarm on board sent out a distress signal. Within an hour, a team from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod spotted the mariners about 20 miles southeast of Portsmouth.

"It was kind of like, alright, let's do this, and everything started rolling into motion. It was very cool to see," Lt. Robert Turley said.

Turley is a junior pilot who said it was his first time saving lives while at the controls of a helicopter.

"Definitely not a normal day at the air station," he said, smiling. "The day after that, I had a celebratory drink and took my dog on a long walk, I'll say that."

Several boaters were rescued Thursday after their boat started taking on water.

Cox, who has experienced a lot in his six decades of sailing, said his latest adventure is proof, yet again, that nobody should mess with Mother Nature.

"Plan for the worst and hope for the best and you'll probably come out somewhere in between," Cox said.

He told NBC10 Boston he has salvaged his boat and is working on restoring it.

Cox put the Triad up for sale a couple weeks ago and is still looking for a new owner who will love it as much as he has for nearly 30 years.

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