Coast Guard crews assist flooding tanker vessel

BOSTON – Three Coast Guard boat crews and two air crews are responding to a tanker vessel that is taking on water about 35 miles off the coast of Rockland, Maine tonight.

The three-person crew aboard the 72-foot island tanker vessel William McLoon, radioed Coast Guard Sector Northern New England around 8:40 p.m., reporting flooding in the engine room.

There was about four feet of water on the deck and the vessel’s dewatering pumps were not responding.

Boat crews from Coast Guard stations Rockland, Maine, and Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and a Falcon jet air crew and a Jayhawk helicopter air crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod responded to the call.

The Coast Guard Cutter Flyingfish, an 87-foot patrol boat from Boston, was also diverted to the scene.

The helicopter rescue crew and the boat crew from Station Boothbay Harbor arrived on scene around 10:35 p.m., and transferred a dewatering pump to the ship’s crew.

Rescue crews will continue efforts to dewater the vessel throughout the night.

“Since the crew had a marine radio aboard the vessel, they were able to radio for help when they began taking on water,” said Petty Officer Second Class Sean Killian, a communications watchstander at Sector Northern New England.

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