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Coast Guard busy as northern weather warms up

A commercial accident in Rhode Island and a small-boat accident in Chesapeake Bay had Coast Guard crews responding this week.

The Coast Guard is searching for a 48-year-old man who might have fallen from a Boston-bound tugboat approximately nine miles off the coast of Newport, R.I., Wednesday.

The crew of New York-based 91-foot tug Steven-Scott called the Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England Command Center at 2:40 p.m., reporting the man was last seen around 1:30 p.m. and that it was believed he fell overboard.

The Coast Guard issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert mariners in the area of the situation and to report any sightings of the person.

A 47-foot motor lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Point Judith, a 45-foot response boat-medium crew from Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod and the Coast Guard cutter Tiger Shark from Newport, were dispatched for the search.

The man might not have been wearing a lifejacket when he fell overboard.

“We responded quickly, launching boat, cutter and aircraft crews,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Alayola, the search-and-rescue controller at the 1st Coast Guard District Command Center in Boston. “We are putting every effort into locating him and continue to hope for the best outcome.”

The weather conditions on scene were 20 to 22-knot winds, 3 to 6-foot seas and a water temperature of 52 degrees.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard rescued two boys after their 14-foot sailboat capsized Tuesday approximately three miles off the coast of Maryland’s Little Cove Point.

At approximately 4 p.m., a 25-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes immediately responded after the crew saw the capsized sailboat and retrieved the 14 and 17-year-old boys from the water.

They were transferred to the sailboat Josephine, where their father was aboard. The crew of the Josephine took the sailboat in tow.

“The boys were wearing life jackets when we got on scene, which probably saved their lives,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class James Walters. “The water temperature was 58 degrees, and that is still cold enough to make a person hypothermic if they are exposed to it long enough.”