11/8 UPDATE: Late Thursday night, the Coast Guard rescued four people from a sailboat off Va. Beach. The boaters on the Ahimsa were glad to be rescued and said they suffered from extreme sea sickness after getting hit by 12-foot waves.
Two other sailboats, the Nyapa and the Aurora which are part of the race, have been located and are fine, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed. The crew aboard the boat off Va. Beach reporting their boat has a broken mast but they're under motor power.
The boat off the NC coast was spotted by another boat in the area. It relayed a message that all aboard are fine and they're continuing the race to the Bahamas.
In a fourth case, the Coast Guard went to assist boaters on the Brave Heart, off Ocracoke, NC, but bad weather hampered their efforts. Later communication from the boaters said they were no longer in distress.
In the fifth response, the Zulu, off Oregon Inlet, N.C., reported being adrift. The Cutter Block Island crew arrived on scene and is preparing to set up a tow to bring the Zulu back to shore.
UPDATE 11/7: The Coast Guard says the USS Vella Gulf has yet to reach the sailboats, which were part of the Salty Dawg Rally, a race from Hampton to the Bahamas. They have had limited contact with the boats.
A C-130 has reached the southern-most sailboat and reports there are 10 to 12 foot waves. However, nobody has been rescued yet.
PORTSMOUTH -- Coast Guard assets and the Norfolk-based Navy cruiser USS Vella Gulf responded Thursday to alerts from three sailboats more than 200 miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean.
Coast Guard Fifth District watchstanders received two alerts via a satellite tracking device and a third alert via an emergency position indicating radio beacon, each from a separate sailboat.
Two of the vessels are 230 and 275 miles east of Virginia Beach, and the third vessel is 230 miles east of Elizabeth City, N.C.
Watchstanders launched crews aboard an HC-130 Hercules airplane and are preparing to launch an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C.
The watchstanders also contacted the Navy who diverted the USS Vella Gulf toward the location of the two northern sailboats, and they issued an alert via the automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue system for any vessels in the area to assist.