Coast Guard Responses New England April 2007

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Recent responses from Massachusetts and around the nation

Recent responses from Massachusetts and around the nation

Sinking boat

Station Provincetown, Mass.

The Coast Guard was searching for survivors of a reported 15-foot boat sinking near Provincetown, Mass. In an initial 911 call, a 14-year-old witness on land said he saw one person aboard the boat when it sank near StorageBeach in Truro, Mass. He said he heard three air horn blasts and heard the word “help.” Local police relayed the report to the Coast Guard who deployed a 25-foot response boat crew from Station Provincetown and an HH-60 rescue helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod. Both Coast Guard assets joined local authorities and began searching. They had not yet sighted any people or debris in the water. The seas were less than 1 foot and the winds were 5 to 10 knots. Water temperature was 43 degrees and the air temperature was 36 degrees. (Dec. 31)

Rough weather

Station Provincetown, Mass.

The Coast Guard was towing a disabled 77-foot lobster boat with five people aboard to Provincetown, Mass., after it became stranded about 50 miles east of Nantucket, Mass. Coast Guard Cutter Seneca fought through 30-knot winds, 12-foot seas and freezing temperatures to assist the fishing boat after its propeller became fouled. A Coast Guard Station Provincetown, Mass., boat crew was scheduled to take over towing efforts outside of Cape CodBay and safely moor the fishing boat. (Jan. 16)

Into cold water

Station Point Judith, R.I.

Three fishermen were saved after they were forced to abandon ship into the frigid waters of Rhode Island Sound. Another fishing boat relayed a mayday call to Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England. The crew reported that they heard the mayday from the stricken fishing boat stating that the engine room was nearly full of water, that there was no way to stop the flooding, and that they were roughly nine miles south of Newport, R.I. Upon receiving this report, Sector Southeastern New England immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast in the hope that other boats in the area could quickly assist. Sector Southeastern New England also diverted four resources to the scene, including a 47-foot motor lifeboat and a 27-foot response boat from StationPointJudith, a 41-foot utility boat from Station Castle Hill, and Cutter Tigershark. All three vessels were under way at the time for training and immediately diverted to rescue the distressed fishermen. In addition to Coast Guard resources, four fishing boats in the area responded to the Coast Guard’s UMIB. The response boat from StationPointJudith and the fishing boat that received the mayday call spotted a red flare. The fishing boat was the first to arrive and recovered the three fishermen from their life raft. The three men from the stricken fishing boat had entered the water as their boat sank and did not have time to don immersion suits. Fortunately, the men had a properly installed life raft and were able to quickly get out of the 43-

degree water. The men had been on the life raft for about 20 minutes before being rescued. The rescuing fishing boat brought all three men to their home port of Sakonnet Harbor, R.I. with an escort provided by Cutter Tigershark’s small boat. (Jan. 18)

Drifting houseboat

Station Ketchikan, Alaska

Coast Guard Station Ketchikan deployed a 47-foot motor life boat crew to retrieve a drifting houseboat from the TongassNarrows. After dewatering 1,200 gallons of water the boat was returned to its mooring. This is one of many vessels adrift that the Coast Guard has responded to due to recent wind storms throughout Alaska. This situation is often the result of inadequate or infrequently inspected mooring procedures. Mariners are strongly encouraged to double up and double-check lines when severe weather conditions exist. (Dec. 28)

Missing off island

Sector St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Coast Guard ended the search for a missing man about one mile west of Marco Island, Fla., when a Collier County Sheriff’s Department Dive Team discovered the body of the 20-year-old boater. Coast Guard rescue crews, along with state and local agencies, had been searching for the young man for more than two days, after authorities received a report that a 30-foot go-fast boat flipped end over end and crashed into the water nose first. The cigarette boat was said to have been jumping waves at a very high rate of speed. Three other passengers on the boat died in the accident and one was seriously injured. Weather conditions at the time of the incident were 1- to 2-foot seas, and 5- to 10-knot winds. (Jan. 8)