Coast Guard rescues two men from fishing boat

BOSTON — A Coast Guard Station Point Judith, R.I. 47-foot motor life boat crew rescued two fishermen after their boat lost steering and went aground on the West break wall in Point Judith Harbor of Refuge Saturday at 4:35 a.m.

The men aboard fishing vessel Patricia Jean, a 65-foot fishing boat home ported in Point Judith, called 911 after their boat lost steering and went hard aground in 2-to-4 foot seas. The 911 operator called Station Point Judith, which launched the boat crew at 4:27 a.m.

The Coast Guard boat was unable to get close to the fishing vessel because of the rocks, so the fishermen put on survival suits and jumped into the water, which is 51 degrees Fahrenheit. The Coast Guard boat crew threw the men heaving lines, hauled them aboard, and brought them back to the station. The Patricia Jean sank, and the vessel’s owner has contracted with Clean Harbors to contain any pollution.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass. flew over the vessel this morning, and noticed a light fuel sheen surrounding the vessel. Two Coast Guard pollution response petty officers based in Providence, R.I. are on scene to coordinate pollution containment.

Fishing vessel Patricia Jean is hard aground on the West break wall in Point Judith Harbor of Refuge Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo / Petty Officer 3rd Class Riley Harriman.)

Fishing vessel Patricia Jean is hard aground on the West break wall in Point Judith Harbor of Refuge Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009. (U.S. Coast Guard photo / Petty Officer 3rd Class Riley Harriman.)

The rescued men, who were heading out to sea on a fishing trip, are Daniel Conrad, the vessel’s owner, and Robert Kenyon. Neither man suffered any injuries during the incident.

The Coast Guard is working closely with Conrad and commercial salvage to develop plans to extricate the boat from the rocks. Current on scene weather is 10-knot winds, with 1-to-2 foot seas.

“We couldn’t get too close to the fishing boat because it was aground on rocks, so the fishermen had to abandon ship,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Borzilleri from Station Point Judith. “Luckily the men had survival suits and were only in the cold water for about two minutes before we were able to haul them onto the Coast Guard boat.”

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