Beaufort Water Search & Rescue had a busy day Sunday, according to spokesman Dick Jennings.
The rescue group responded to a 911 call Sunday morning reporting a john boat going in circles in the waters off Pigeon Point with a man stretched out inside it.
In the time it took Beaufort Water Search & Rescue to tow its boats to the Pigeons Point Landing from Port Royal, the man apparently jumped out of the boat and swam away. He was picked up by a passing sailboat, which brought him to shore.
Meanwhile, the now empty john boat was still running in circles, Jennings said.
Another passing boater tried to stop the runaway john boat, banging into it with his own boat. Eventually, a passenger on the good Samaritan's boat was able to jump into the john boat and bring it to shore.
The efforts to stop the boat damaged the other boat, tearing a large gash in its fiberglass, Jennigs said, but no one was injured.
Several hours later, the group received a call from the U.S. Coast Guard about a 60-foot shrimp boat with two people aboard taking on water and sinking in Port Royal Sound.
Jennings said the shrimp boat's generator had failed, which meant the bilge pumps had stopped working and water was flooding the boat.
Three Beaufort Water Search & Rescue boats responded, and using a large pump, the rescue crews pumped about 12 feet of water out of the shrimp boat's hull before towing it in to shore.
"It was an all-afternoon affair," Jennings said.