Boston Based cutter helps two disabled vessels off Nantucket

BOSTON- The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Flyingfish is working to assist two New Bedford-based fishing vessels that are disabled about 30 miles east of Nantucket.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England got a radio call from the operator of the Stars of the Sea around 11 p.m., Wednesday, reporting the boat had sustained a steering casualty, but the crew was trying to make repairs.

About two hours later, around 1 a.m., Thursday, the sector received a radio call from the fishing vessel Storm, reporting they were having engine trouble and their crew was troubleshooting the problem.

The sector began issuing marine assistance request broadcasts over the radio asking boaters in the area to assist, but there was no response.

Cutter Flyingfish, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Boston, left Woods Hole, Mass., around 9:30 a.m., today to help the two vessels.

At 12:50 p.m., the Flyingfish crew sent a team aboard the Storm, a 66-foot dragger, to help with repairs.

If repairs cannot be completed at sea, the Flyingfish will tow each vessel, individually, to Nantucket Harbor which could take a total of 20 hours.

Since the 70-foot Stars of the Sea has been disabled longer, that vessel would be towed first and taken to Anchorage J near Nantucket Harbor where the vessel’s owner will take over.

There are five people aboard each disabled boat and the boats are about five miles apart.

At the time of the tow winds were gusting around 12 miles per hour with seas up to four feet.

“In both cases it was important that the crews had VHF radios aboard their vessels and made us aware of the problems they were having,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Steven Kent, the search and rescue controller coordinating the tow from the sector. “The early notice allowed us assess the situation and make plans accordingly.”

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