The carrier Eisenhower took a break from its work-ups Sunday to rescue five crew members aboard a distressed sailboating vessel off the coast of Florida.

The U.S.-flagged sailing vessel Selket sent out a distress call around 7 p.m., according to a Navy release, reporting a broken mast and smoke in the engine room.

Ike launched an MH-60S Knighthawk from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 9 to respond to the call, due to high seas and the boat's condition, the release said.

"Responding to mariners in distress is an inherent obligation of the U.S. Navy; a duty we take very seriously," Capt. Paul Spedero Jr., Ike's commanding officer, said. "I am glad that we were in the right place at the right time to rescue these mariners."

Once the crew members were safely off the Selket, they were medically evaluated by Ike personnel before being transferred to Coast Guard Air Station Miami.

Eisenhower is underway preparing for an upcoming Board of Inspection and Survey, following two years spent in maintenance back in Norfolk.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members.

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