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Coast Guard response report - New England

Recent responses from Rockland, Maine to Judith, R.I.

Lobsterman missing Station Rockland, Maine

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a Maine lobsterman last seen in a 21-foot skiff near Zephyr Ledges. The 24-year-old man left Matinicus Island at around 8:45 a.m. and was expected to return by 2 p.m. His sister contacted Station Rockland at 3:30 p.m. Responders searched for 28 hours and covered more than 100 square miles using a 47-foot rescue boat from Station Rockland; Coast Guard Cutters Moray and Jefferson Island; a Falcon jet and a Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.; a Navy plane from Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine; two Maine Marine Patrol boats using side-scan sonar, and about 20 local lobstermen. (Oct. 28)

Search for missing fisherman

Sector Southeastern New England

The Coast Guard was searching for a fisherman after his boat capsized about 115 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass. The First District Command Center in Boston received an alert from the New Bedford-based 71-foot fishing boat’s EPIRB at around midnight. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England began issuing marine assistance request broadcasts on the radio asking boaters in the area to assist. The fishing boat’s sister ship reported they had been fishing about two miles away when they lost sight of the capsized boat. Sector Southeastern New England was able to get the location of the fishing boat using a vessel monitoring system. The sister ship arrived and rescued three crewmembers from the water. A Jayhawk helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer to the sister ship to evaluate the three rescued crewman and found they were in stable condition. They remained on the sister ship. Jayhawk helicopter and Falcon Jet crews from Air Station Cape Cod searched the scene for the fourth fisherman until needing to return to base for fuel. Another helicopter crew was scheduled to arrive on scene. Coast Guard Cutters Seneca and Grand Isle were also en route to the area. (Nov. 13)

Storm ravages sailboats

Station Portsmouth Harbor, N.H.

The Coast Guard responded to two sailboats broken loose from their moorings near Kittery, Maine, following severe weather that saw seas in the Gulf of Maine reach 11 to 12 feet. Station Portsmouth Harbor received a call about an unmanned sailboat submerged near the pier in Pepperell Cove. The station, which was just finishing a heavy weather training session, launched a 25-foot boat crew. Upon arrival, they reported only seeing a mast sticking out of the water. Local residents told the crew there was a second boat washed up on the beach about 300 yards from the pier. The crew relayed the hull number to Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in Portland, Maine, and they notified the owner. The sector was working with the Kittery harbormaster to identify the owner of the submerged sailboat. Pepperell Cove is usually well-protected from three sides, but with the direction of the wind and waves on that night, they were coming inside the cove, the Coast Guard reported. (Oct. 26)

Fishermen safe after capsize

Station Point Judith, R.I.

Three fishermen were safe after their boat capsized two miles east of Block Island, R.I., forcing them into 55-degree water. The fishing boat called for help on a VHF radio, stating they were donning survival suits because their boat was going down. A helicopter crew departed from Air Station Cape Cod and a motor lifeboat crew from Station Point Judith. The Coast Guard also made a radio broadcast asking nearby mariners to help. When the Coast Guard arrived, another fishing boat was recovering the three men from the water. Initial reports indicate one fisherman suffered minor injuries. The Coast Guard crew escorted the good Samaritan vessel as it transported the three men to Station Point Judith, where EMS was waiting. (Oct. 31)

This article originally appeared in the February 2009 issue.