Coast Guard responds to fishermen overboard in water off Nantucket, Mass.

An Air Station Cape Cod, Mass. HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew hoisted two fishermen from the water two miles east of Sankaty Head Light, Nantucket, Mass. this morning at about 6:00 a.m.

One fisherman is recovering while the second fisherman died.

The men were aboard fishing vessel Silver Fox, a 60-foot clam dredge based in Cape May, N.J. with three people on board. A crewman working on deck fell overboard shortly before 5 a.m. He was not wearing a life jacket or a survival suite. Another member of the crew put on a survival suit and jumped into the water to make a rescue attempt.

Unable to make it back to the fishing vessel, the two men in the water began drifting away from the boat, which was disabled and adrift because a hose was fouled in the boat’s propellers. Winds were 5-to-10 knots, seas less than one foot and the water temperature was 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

The third crewman remained onboard the Silver Fox and radioed Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at Woods Hole, Mass. for help at 5:04 a.m.

The Coast Guard helicopter launched at 5:22 a.m. and Station Brandt Point on Nantucket launched a 47-foot motor life boat at 5:28 a.m.

The helicopter arrived on scene at 5:40 a.m. and quickly located the two men in the water. A rescue swimmer deployed and the helicopter crew hoisted both men aboard and brought to them to Nantucket Cottage Hospital.

The 47-foot motor life boat arrived on scene at 6:10 a.m. and transferred one of their crewmen over to the Silver Fox to assist the remaining man on board. Fishing vessel Mandy Lynn, based out of New Bedford, Mass., is towing the Silver Fox to New Bedford so it can be repaired.

“It was sad we found one person who died, but at the same time we are happy one man was saved,” said Royal Australian Navy Lt. Benny Wenban, an exchange pilot serving with the Coast Guard who responded to the case. “We would like to express our condolences to the family of the deceased.”

Names of those involved in the incident are being withheld pending notification of the next of kin.

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