Coast Guard Monitoring Flooded Fishing Boat

NEW YORK-The Coast Guard is monitoring salvage operations on a 75-foot fishing vessel that flooded and is resting on the bottom at the Point Lookout Fish Dock, Point Lookout, N.Y., at 4:30 a.m. today.

The Pearl W. O’Neal, a wooden hulled commercial fishing vessel based in New Bedford, Mass., contacted the Coast Guard via marine band radio when they began taking on water at the Point Lookout Fish Dock, where they tied up alongside another fishing vessel. Dewatering pumps were unable to keep up with the flooding and the vessel sank and is resting on the sandy bottom.

There are about 500 gallons of diesel on board the Pearl W. O’Neal, but there have been no reports of pollution, or injury to any of the three man crew.

“When water starts filling up the compartments in a vessel it can get bad,” said Lt. j.g. Chris Miller, command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “It will make the vessel a lot heavier and more difficult to get out; our main goal now is to prevent any fuel from possibly seeping out.”

Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Field Office Coram, N.Y., are on scene to provide assistance in removing the vessel and preventing any threat of a spill.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is also on scene and providing assistance as necessary.

Miller Environmental Group has been hired by the Coast Guard and is working on a salvage plan to safely remove the Pearl W. O’Neal and prevent any pollution.

“At this point the vessel is pretty much under water,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Clint Trice, officer of the day at Coast Guard Station Jones Beach. “The captain did a good job by closing off the fuel tanks when he did, and the other vessel they are tied up to is helping them keep the bow out of the water.”

A Coast Guard Station Jones Beach crew took three dewatering pumps by vehicle to the Point Lookout Fish Dock in an attempt to dewater the vessel.

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation.

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