Coast Guard Aids Flooding Fishing Vessel Near Stonington, Connecticut

NEW YORK-The Coast Guard assisted two fishermen after their 55-foot fishing boat began taking on water three miles south of Watch Hill, R.I., at around 8 a.m. today.

The crew of the fishing vessel Seafarer, homeported in Stonington, Conn., noticed water flooding the engine room after a shaft seal on the engine ruptured and the vessels bilge pumps became clogged.

The Kryn, a 28-foot fishing boat homeported in Annapolis, Md., was nearby and reported the Seafarer’s distress to Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound.

Under the Kryn’s escort, the Seafarer began to make its way to Stonington, Conn.

The Coast Guard immediately responded by diverting the Coast Guard Cutter Tiger Shark, an 87-foot cutter homeported in Newport, R.I., and 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 Seafarer in a side tow. After the boat was securely in tow, a two-man rescue team from New London boarded the Seafarer and began dewatering the engine space.

“When the boarding team got on the Seafarer they reported the water was halfway up the engine block,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Jeff Barker, Coast Guard Station New London’s officer of the day. “When you see water up that high on a 55-foot fishing boat, you know it’s a lot of water.”

“Everything went great in this case. In a situation that could have turned out disastrous, the Coast Guard did everything right,” said Barker. “We had a great watchstander on duty, and the team that boarded the distressed vessel did what they train to do, keep vessels afloat and keep boaters safe.”

Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound conducted a mandatory post search and rescue (SAR) inspection.

“When boarding teams board vessels for a post SAR boarding they making sure the vessel has everything they should, especially in inclement weather in the winter months,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Patrick Stone, a Sector Long Island Sound watchstander. “Boarding teams inspect the life rafts, survival suits, and other safety gear. They also inspect the actual integrity of the vessel itself.

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