Coast Guard frees grounded fishing boat

BOSTON – The Coast Guard helped a Chatham, Mass., fishing crew today after their 40-foot boat ran aground near Chatham.

The two-man crew aboard the fishing vessel Ocean Lady made a distress call to Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England in Woods Hole, Mass., at 4 p.m., indicating they were grounded and taking on water.

A 42-foot surf boat crew and a 44-foot motor lifeboat crew launched from Station Chatham and arrived at 4:16 p.m. They reported the Ocean Lady was hard aground on the sandy bottom and flooding from waves breaking over the side.

“We weren’t able to get them on the radio once we got there, and we were yelling to them on the loud hailer to put on their life jackets, but they couldn’t hear us over the wind and waves,” said Petty Officer First Class Brent Bebee, the surf boat operator.

“The boat was listing to starboard a little bit and we started discussing our options,” Bebee said.

The shallow water and heavy surf made it too dangerous for the rescue boats to reach the Ocean Lady and a helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod launched. Once on scene, the aircrew deployed a rescue swimmer and a pump to the deck of the Ocean Lady. The swimmer instructed the crew to put on life jackets.

Also present was a Chatham Fire response boat crew, who helped the 44-foot boat crew attach a line to the Ocean Lady and tow it off the sand bar and back to Chatham.

There were no injuries, pollution or major damage to the Ocean Lady reported.

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