WILMINGTON, N.C. (WVEC) -- The Coast Guard rescued a man and his sailboat after he started taking on water on Tuesday.

According to the Coast Guard, the man began taking on water early in the morning near Ocracoke Inlet. A call was received around 3:30 a.m.

“This mariner called for help right away instead of waiting for a minor problem to become something much worse,” said Craig Sanders, the operations unit controller for the case. “He had the right communications equipment on board, and his quick call for help enabled our crews to respond in a timely manner.”

The Coast Guard sent two Motor Life Boats from Station Hatteras Inlet and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City to assist the man and his 33-foot sailboat, Emerald City.

Once on the scene, the helicopter crew lowered a dewatering pump. Neither rescue swimmer nor boat operator could discern the source of the leak, although the vessel stopped taking on water.

When the boat crews arrived they passed another pump to the sailboat. The aircrew departed and one of the boat crews transported the sailboat's owner back to Station Hatteras Inlet.

Due to the 6-foot wave at the entrance to bother Hatteras and Ocracoke Inlets, the other boat crew towed the sailboat to a knoll between the inlets, about three miles offshore.

The owner is making plans to recover the boat on Wednesday.