Hurricane Maria: Video shows dramatic rescue of woman, 2 sons from capsized vessel

The Coast Guard released video Friday of a dramatic rescue off Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria battered the island.

The video shows a British helicopter crew Thursday rescuing a woman and her two 12-year-old sons from the vessel Ferrel after it capsized near Vieques.

They were with a man who died before rescuers reached the boat.

The Coast Guard received an SOS Wednesday stating that the vessel was disabled and adrift in 20 foot seas and 100-knot winds.

A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules search plane located the overturned vessel.

The video show the woman and the boys atop the capsized ship wearing life jackets and waving as the helicopter arrives.

“We initially got the call — a vessel in distress, a family of four, north of St. Croix, literally in the teeth of a hurricane,” Rear Adm. Peter Brown, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Seventh District, which includes Puerto Rico, told The New York Times. “We were obviously concerned. We didn’t ask their names and didn’t ask why they were out there.”

The paper said the Ferrel was a 146-foot former U.S. government oceanographic research vessel that was decommissioned in 2002 and sold to an oil exploration company in the Houston area. The current owner was unknown.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported the woman was from the Dominican Republic and the man was from Great Britain. The boys were their children.

The boat appears to have drifted about 50 miles after sending out the SOS.