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Photo Story: Coast Guard assists disabled fishing vessel

Date: 2012-01-20
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Rescue on the High Seas – Just Another Day of Service for the USCG

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 2nd Class Rob Simpson.

Coast Guard crews assisted a disabled fishing vessel and safely delivered it to Gloucester, Mass., at approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday, January 13th, 2012.

The four-person crew of the 75-foot stern trawler Bulldog used their radio to contact watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England to report the vessel’s engine shaft had broken and they needed assistance Thursday night.

The watchstanders issued a marine assistance request broadcast, requesting any mariners in the area to assist, but did not receive any responses.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor was launched and the Coast Guard Cutter Dependable, based in Cape May, N.J., was diverted from Cape Cod Bay.

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish, homeported in Boston, tow the fishing vessel Bulldog near Gloucester Harbor.

Once the station boat crew arrived on scene, they initially thought they would be able to tow the vessel, said Chris Berry, the search and rescue controller at the sector command center. But given the poor weather conditions and the size of the boat, towing the trawler exceeded the limitations of the 47-foot boat, said Berry. Another ship was needed to rescue the vessel and its crew.

The 210-foot Dependable arrived on scene around midnight, established a tow in heavy seas, and towed the Bulldog and its crew to a location near Gloucester, Mass. The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Flyingfish assumed the tow from Dependable around 9:30 a.m. and continued from there. Ultimately, the Bulldog was safely moored in Gloucester by a Coast Guard Station Gloucester 47-foot motor life boat crew.  

There were no reports of injuries.

On scene weather conditions were 30-knot winds, 8 to 10-foot seas and about two miles of visibility.

"Because our cutters provide a contant presence out there, they have the unique ability to perform on a moment's notice, even in rough seas," said Lt. Joe Klinker, 1st Coast Guard District public affairs officer. "Getting these fishermen back safely was a real challenge. But the teamwork demonstrated by all of these crews today allowed the crew of the Dependable lived up to their name."


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