Recent Coast Guard responses from Boston to Florida
Disabled engine 40 miles off Nantucket
The Coast Guard responded to a disabled vessel 40 miles southeast of Nantucket. The crew of seven aboard the fishing vessel Diligence notified the Coast Guard at 3 a.m. that their engine was disabled.
Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England diverted the Coast Guard cutter Grand Isle to the Diligence.
There were no reports of injuries at the time. (Feb. 5)
Adrift and taking on water
A 42-foot rescue boat crew from Station Chatham assisted a disabled fishing vessel 17 miles east of Chatham around 11 p.m. after the 76-foot boat with four people on board lost power.
The fishing vessel Maria Jo-Ann called Sector Southeastern New England at 9:30 p.m. to report it was adrift and taking on water in 2- to 3-foot seas.
Station Chatham launched at 10 p.m. and arrived at 11 p.m., and the crew passed a pump and portable radio over to the stern trawler, which is home-ported in Boston.
The fishing boat crew was able to restore power at 12:25 a.m. and the vessel returned to Boston.
The Chatham rescue boat stood by until 1:12 a.m. to make sure the fishing boat did not lose power again. Two Coast Guard cutters were diverted to assist, but resumed normal operations when the fishing boat was able to maintain power. (Jan. 31)
Four survive sunken tug near Jamaica
While assisting with Haitian earthquake relief operations, a Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod aircrew located a life raft with four survivors from a tug that sank about 53 miles north of Jamaica.
Search-and-rescue coordinators at the 7th Coast Guard District command center in Miami dispatched a Cape Cod-based HU-25 Falcon jet crew to search for the U.S.-flagged tug, Betty, after receiving an EPIRB from the boat at 3:39 a.m.
The Falcon crew arrived at 6:50 a.m., and located the life raft with survivors near the vessel's last known position. A Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the four crewmembers aboard. The men were taken to U.S. Naval Hospital in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their condition was unknown.
The two aircrews and an HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircrew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., also conducted a search for a fifth crewmember of the tug, but did not locate him. (Jan. 27)
Disabled sailboat off Florida Keys
Key West, Fla.
The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Ocracoke responded to a 37-foot Canadian-flagged sailboat named Emanuel with seven people aboard, which became disabled after one of the masts was damaged.
Watchstanders at the 7th Coast Guard District Command Center in Miami received the initial call at 2 p.m. from a member of the Maritime Mobility Service Network, a network of amateur radio operators, who stated he received a radio call from the crew of Emanuel. The crew reported that the Emanuel's mast was damaged 285 miles west of Key West and they were heading to the Dry Tortugas National Park under auxiliary power.
Coast Guard search-and-rescue coordinators at Sector Key West established communications with the crew of the Emanuel and set up a communications schedule to allow the Coast Guard to track the Emanuel and monitor their situation as they headed to the Dry Tortugas.
At approximately 5:30 a.m., the crew of the Emanuel stopped responding to radio calls from Sector Key West watchstanders. The Coast Guard immediately diverted an HC-130 Hercules air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater and the crew of the Coast Guard cutter Ocracoke to locate and re-establish communications with Emanuel.
The HC-130 aircrew arrived and re-established communications with the crew, who reported they had lost control of their helm and had no way of steering. The crew reported problems with their engine and said they had become adrift. Prior to departing the scene to refuel, the HC-130 aircrew dropped a Self Locating Datum Marker Buoy that floats and passes positional information to the Coast Guard by satellite. The positional information assisted Sector Key West search-and-rescue coordinators to track Emanuel as the crew of the Ocracoke continued to the scene.
An HU-25 Falcon jet air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami was later diverted to relocate and establish communications with the crew of Emanuel.
The crew of the Ocracoke arrived and took the Emanuel in tow. The Coast Guard cutter Ocracoke is a 110-foot patrol boat home-ported in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Jan. 31)
This article originally appeared in the Connecticut and New York Home Waters Section of the April 2010 issue.