Coast Guard rescues two, searches for another in Rhode Island

1st Coast Guard District News
OSTON – The Coast Guard rescued two men Friday from a sunken boat near the Sakonnet River entrance in Rhode Island, and is searching for another in Rhode Island Sound.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England received a call at about 9:45 p.m., Thursday, from a family member that the three men aboard their 17-foot boat were overdue from a day trip. They had planned to return by sunset, and when they didn’t, every attempt to reach them was unsuccessful.

The Coast Guard First District Command Center launched a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Sector Southeastern New England dispatched a 45-foot Response Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, the Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead crew diverted to the search area, and several local agencies responded.

Middletown Fire Department arrived on scene and safely recovered the first man who managed to swim to Sakonnet Lighthouse. The Jayhawk aircrew located and hoisted the second man who was found clinging to a lobster buoy about 1 mile south of the lighthouse. It was reported that the third man was last seen drifting away from the same area.

The two survivors said their engine failed and the vessel was overcome with water and sank. The boat is now mostly submerged and still adrift in search area. The two reported that they, as well as the missing man, were wearing life jackets before the boat sank.

“The Coast Guard and the Rhode Island Task Force has multiple units from several partnering agencies blanketing an area more than 370 square miles wide,” said Commander Frank DelRosso, Chief of Response for Sector Southeastern New England. “We will exhaust every effort to locate the missing mariner.”

As America’s maritime first responder, the Coast Guard’s First District rescues 350 people in distress annually.

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