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Three rescued off Martha’s Vineyard

Three people were rescued Saturday after their 20-foot boat took on water and sank south of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a mayday call at 2:24 p.m. from the operator of the pleasure craft Cynthia Z stating his boat was awash with three people on board. The three men put on their life jackets and entered the water with a hand-held radio. During communications, the operator told the Coast Guard he was somewhere south of Martha’s Vineyard near the 20 Fathom Curve.

The Coast Guard launched a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Station Menemsha and an MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod. Watchstanders also issued an urgent marine information broadcast over channel 16 to notify all boaters in the area that three people were in the water and required assistance.

The fishing vessel Patients heard the request for help, located and rescued the three men 15 minutes later.

The crew of the Coast Guard 47-foot motor lifeboat later brought the three men back to Station Menemsha where they were debriefed and released.

This is the 338 search-and-rescue case in southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island this year.