Recent responses from Connecticut and the Northeast
Recent responses from Connecticut and the Northeast
Clogged bilge pumps
Station New London, Conn.
The Coast Guard assisted two fishermen after their 55-foot fishing boat began taking on water three miles south of Watch Hill, R.I. The crew of the fishing boat noticed water flooding the engine room after a shaft seal on the engine ruptured and the bilge pumps became clogged. Another fishing boat was nearby and reported the flooded boat’s distress to Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. Under the second boat’s escort, the flooded boat began to make its way to Stonington, Conn. The Coast Guard immediately responded by diverting Coast Guard Cutter Tiger Shark, launching a 41-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station New London, Conn., and a 47-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station Point Judith, R.I. The Station New London crew was on scene in 30 minutes and placed the fishing boat in a side tow. After the boat was securely in tow, a two-man rescue team from New London boarded the boat and began dewatering the engine space. When the boarding team got on the boat they reported the water was halfway up the engine block. When the Coast Guard crew arrived at the Stonington dock, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound conducted a mandatory post search and rescue inspection. The inspection makes sure the vessel has everything it should, especially in inclement weather in the winter months, said the Coast Guard. Boarding teams inspect the life rafts, survival suits and other safety gear. They also inspect the actual integrity of the vessel itself. (Dec. 12)
Chest pains offshore
Station Sandy Hook, N.J.
The U.S. Coast Guard medevaced a man reportedly suffering from chest pains off a 21-foot pleasure boat about three miles north of Sandy Hook, N.J. Three people were on the boat when one, a 46-year-old man, reportedly began complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. The two other people aboard called 911. The emergency operator dispatched local Emergency Medical Technicians and alerted Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook. A Coast Guard Flight Surgeon recommended a medevac. Station Sandy Hook immediately launched a 25-foot rescue boat crew, and Coast Guard Cutter Sailfish, a 110-foot patrol boat home ported in Sandy Hook, diverted from a routine patrol. The man’s condition reportedly worsened once the Coast Guard rescue crews arrived. The cutter’s crew transferred him to their cutter and brought him to shore where EMTs were waiting. EMTs rushed him to the MonmouthMedicalCenter in Long Branch, N.J. (Dec. 12)
Engine room fire
Station Shinnecock, N.Y.
A Coast Guard cutter towed a 75-foot fishing boat toward Shinnecock, N.Y., after it suffered an engine room fire that damaged its generator and rendered the boat disabled about 40 miles south of Shinnecock. The three-man crew quickly extinguished the fire, but without a generator to power the ship, it became dead in the water in 7-foot seas. The crew was able to operate the radio on battery power for a short time. The Coast Guard cutter was immediately diverted from a routine patrol about 70 miles away, arrived and established a tow. Both boats met with Sea Tow about a mile from the Shinnecock Light, and Sea Tow assumed the tow into the Shinnecock Inlet. A Coast Guard Station Shinnecock crew then conducted a routine post-rescue inspection aboard the fishing boat. There were no reports of injuries. The sea state was 5to 7 feet with 23 mph winds. On Jan. 3, 2006, the fishing boat involved in this incident rendered assistance as a good Samaritan in the rescue of three people from a capsized boat. (Dec. 14)
Caught in rough weather
Coast Guard First District
Command Center, Mass.
A Coast Guard cutter rescued a lone sailor aboard a 29-foot sailboat who became disabled after an engine failure roughly 350 miles southeast of Boston. The cutter made visual and radio contact with the sailor after transiting more than 100 miles through 15-foot seas at a speed of about 6 knots. The cutter crew made several attempts to rescue the man, but the weather was too rough for the crew to launch a small boat. The cutter remained on scene throughout the night and positioned itself to block the strong winds from the disabled sailboat. The next morning, the cutter was able to launch their small boat and get the man off his disabled boat. The cutter then began making its way to Boston. (Dec. 22)
Taking on water
AirStationCape Cod and
Station Chatham, Mass.
Two Cape Cod Coast Guard crews responded by air and sea when a fishing boat began taking on water 35 miles east of Chatham, Mass. The six-person fishing crew aboard the 81-foot boat radioed Sector Southeastern New England, saying the boat was flooded, and that their on-board pumps had failed. The crew sealed off the affected compartment and contained the flooding, but without pumps, was unable to remove the water. The crewmembers donned their survival suits and were prepared to activate their Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon if they lost communications with the Coast Guard or needed to abandon ship. A Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod and a 32-foot boat crew from Station Chatham launched, arrived and transferred two pumps to the crew. Using the Coast Guard’s pumps, the fishing crew dewatered the space and began repairs. The Coast Guard was escorting the fishing boat as it returned to New Bedford. (Dec. 12)