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Coast Guard Response - New England

Pulled from burning boat

Station Merrimack River, N.H.

The Coast Guard assisted a man after his 33-foot sailboat became engulfed in flames near Plum Island, Mass. The man radioed the Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 and stated that his boat was on fire and he was going to abandon ship. Station Merrimack River immediately launched a 25-foot response boat and a 47-foot motor lifeboat to assist. Before the Coast Guard boats arrived on scene, a good Samaritan took the man aboard his 19-foot powerboat. He was then transferred to the 25-foot Coast Guard boat and taken to Station Merrimack River. He stated that he did not have any injuries and declined medical treatment. His sailboat sank in about 33 feet of water, leaving a debris field with a light oil sheen. Coast Guard Sector Boston was broadcasting a safety message every 15 minutes to warn mariners of the danger posed by the debris. (June 27)

Fisherman rescues fisherman

Kennebunkport, Maine

A Maine fisherman was rescued today by a fellow fisherman after his boat sank 12 miles east of Kennebunkport, Maine. The Coast Guard received a distress signal from an electronic position indicating radio beacon registered to a 36-foot fishing boat from Harpswell, Maine. After making a series of radio calls to the fishing fleet, the Coast Guard learned that the fishing boat sank and that its master was found in his life raft by the captain of another fishing boat. The fisherman, reportedly in good condition, was brought aboard the rescuing fishing boat and taken to shore. The cause of the sinking was under investigation. (July 7)

Intoxicated boater arrested

Station Point Judith, R.I.

The Coast Guard assisted in the arrest of an intoxicated boater near Jerusalem, R.I. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a 911 call, citing multiple reports of a boat aground on the West Gap Jetty. StationPointJudith responded with a 27-foot response boat, arriving on scene to find a 20-foot powerboat on the rocks of the jetty with two people aboard. Both were removed from the boat and escorted back to shore where local paramedics and police were standing by. The passenger was transported to SouthCountyHospital with minor injuries. The boat operator failed a field sobriety test given by the Department of Environmental Management. The operator was arrested by DEM and transferred to South Kingston Police Department. (July 3)

Ferry boat collision

Station Boston, Mass.

The Coast Guard and other local authorities responded to a collision between two commuter ferries in BostonHarbor about one mile from Long IslandBridge. There were no reports of serious injuries. One of the ferries, with 151 people aboard, was inbound to RowesWharf from Hingham, Mass., and the other, a 101-foot ferry with four people aboard, was outbound from BostonHarbor. Coast Guard Station Boston launched two 25-foot rescue boats which arrived on scene within minutes of the collision. The first ferry safely returned to RowesWharf and the second safely returned to Marine Pier I in Charlestown, Mass. Both suffered damage above the water line, but did not take on any water. The Coast Guard requested ambulances to meet the first ferry at the pier as a precaution. An employee at the 1st Coast Guard District and crew-trained Coast Guard Auxiliarist was commuting to work aboard the first ferry and assisted fellow commuters by handing out life jackets. Coast Guard Sector Boston is investigating the cause of the collision. (July 10)

Solo sailor in distress

Station Rockland, Maine

An Air Station Cape Cod HH-60 helicopter rescued a man from his sailboat 40 miles south of Rockland, Maine. The 53-year-old man called Sector Northern New England reporting that he was ill and disoriented aboard a 29-foot sailboat he had been operating alone for two days. Station Rockland also launched a 47-foot motor life boat to assist in the rescue, which was used as a platform from which the man was safely hoisted into the helicopter. Seas were 5 feet with 15-knot winds. The air crew transferred the man to Portland where a waiting ambulance took him to MaineMedicalCenter. He was in stable condition. A private marine service towed the sailboat to shore. (July 14)

Two aboard sinking boat

Station Portsmouth Harbor, N.H.

The Coast Guard rescued two people from their sinking boat at the entrance of Portsmouth Harbor, N.H. The boat operator radioed a private towing company and stated that his 23-foot Bayliner was taking on water. Station Portsmouth Harbor, N.H., immediately launched a 25-foot response boat to assist. The response boat arrived on scene, took the man and his passenger, who were both wearing life jackets, aboard and began using pumps to dewater the pleasure boat. Portsmouth Fire and Rescue also sent a boat and assisted with dewatering efforts. Once the boat was dewatered, the 25-foot response boat towed it to a marina north of New Castle, N.H. The New Hampshire Marine Patrol transported the rescued man to Great Bay Marina to pick up his boat trailer. Neither the man nor his passenger was injured. The rescued man stated that he believed a 2-inch crack on the stern of the boat caused the flooding. (June 28)

Boat strikes inlet breakers

Station East Moriches, N.Y.

Two people on a disabled boat were rescued by the Coast Guard moments before their pleasure boat crashed into the breakers in Moriches Inlet. The 18-foot pleasure boat lost power and was dragging anchor toward the 5-foot waves when the Coast Guard rescue crew from Station East Moriches launched and responded. The rescue crew threw a mooring line to one of the men on board who brought it the front of the boat and attached it to a cleat. The Coast Guard rescue crew told the men to pull the anchor free but the anchor was pulling toward the breaker and unable to move. They were instructed by the Coast Guard coxswain to cut the line allowing the boat to be pulled from the breakers. Once the boat was pulled to safer water, the rescue crew put the boat in side tow and safely moored at Coast Guard Sector Field Office Moriches. The anchor line knocked loose a metal running light cover injuring the elbow of the owner of the boat when it broke free. He was met by the East Moriches Volunteer Ambulance Company at the pier and taken to a local hospital. (July 16)

Sailboat taking on water

Station Eaton’s Neck, N.Y.

Two people were rescued by the Coast Guard after their sailboat was flooded with 500 gallons of sea water in Ziegler Cove, Darien, Conn. A Coast Guard rescue crew from Station Eaton’s Neck arrived on scene shortly after receiving the distress call from the 38-foot sailboat and immediately deployed a dewatering pump in the boat’s engine room. After pumping out hundreds of gallons of sea water, the rescue crew was able to determine the source of the leak and secure it. The sailboat flooded due to a malfunctioning valve in the engine room. Sea Tow was on scene and towed the sailboat to a boatyard in Mamaroneck, N.Y. (July 16)

Three boaters lost in fog

Station Barnegat Light, N.J.

The Coast Guard rescued two adults and a child who reported they were lost in the fog near Little Egg Inlet while aboard their 24-foot pleasure boat. The Coast Guard received a call over marine radio requesting Coast Guard assistance. The three boaters had reportedly become disoriented in the fog and were without GPS. A rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Barnegat Light located the boaters by using the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 system. Rescue 21 is a newly established search-and-rescue and command and control system, leveraging technology to boost search-and-rescue capability and better protect the nation’s coastal waterways and ports. The three people were escorted by the rescue boat crew into Little Egg Inlet. (July 17)

Injured diving from boat

Station Jones Beach, N.Y.

A 37-year-old boater was hospitalized with potential neck injuries after he dove from a boat into shallow water in Goose Creek near the Wantagh Two Bridge in Nassau County. The injured boater’s condition was unknown. Two other boaters in the pleasure boat called the Coast Guard on VHF marine band radio after the man surfaced and was unresponsive. They picked him out of the water and placed him on a nearby sand bar. A Station Jones Beach rescue boat crew arrived on scene and immediately initiated life-saving first aid. A Coast Guard flight surgeon recommended an airlift to the nearest hospital and a Nassau County Police Department helicopter airlifted the unresponsive swimmer to the Nassau County University Hospital for treatment. The Coast Guard cautions all boaters who want to swim in lakes, rivers, oceans or other waterways to swim only in familiar areas and to wear some level of flotation device. They also recommended that if you’re going to jump, make sure you jump feet first. (July 6)