Coast Guard escorts disabled RI fishing vessel ahead of winter storm

BOSTON — With a major winter storm approaching,crews from Coast Guard Station Menemsha, Massachusetts and Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, Rhode Island, aided a distressed fishing crew about 10 miles east of Block Island, Rhode Island Saturday.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. Saturday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, received a call via VHF channel 16 from the captain of the 50-foot Tamara stating his vessel’s navigation equipment had failed and he was having trouble steering.

A 45-foot Response Boat Medium from Station Castle Hill was launched along with a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Station Menemsha.  While the three-man fishing crew was not in any immediate danger, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was launched as a precaution.

The Station Castle Hill crew arrived on scene at about 9:45 a.m. and began escorting the Tamara toward the Newport State Pier. They were scheduled to arrive at the pier at approximately 3 p.m. today.

Winds in the area are 30 to 40 knots with gusts up to 55 knots. Seas are 12 to 17 feet and building.

“The incoming storm is expected to be significant,” said Chief Petty Officer Joshua Herman, the Command Duty Officer at Sector Southeastern New England. “Any vessels in its path should make a course to port as soon as possible”

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