Coast Guard Responses - New England

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Recent responses from Massachusetts and Connecticut

Recent responses from Massachusetts and Connecticut

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)

Adrift with fouled propeller

Chatham, Mass.

Coast Guard Cutter Dependable was towing a disabled fishing boat 75 miles east of Chatham, Mass. The 88-foot fishing boat’s crew reported to the Coast Guard that the boat’s propeller had become fouled and they were adrift. The Coast Guard issued a radio-based marine assistance broadcast, requesting nearby vessels to assist the New Bedford-based stern trawler, but received no response. Dependable arrived with the fishing boat and began towing the boat toward Cape CodBay and was scheduled to be relieved by a commercial tow. The seas were about 4 to 7 feet and the winds were 20 to 30 knots. The air temperature was estimated at 48 degrees and the water temperature at 46 degrees. (Dec. 12)

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)

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)