Coast Guard tows disabled fishing vessel 35 miles south of Haiti to Dominican Republic

A Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless rescue and assist small boat crew launches to assist the 150-foot Dominican Republic-flagged fishing vessel Grace Zanzibar Sunday, July 23, 2017 to assist the crew with flooding about 23 miles south of Haiti. The fishing vessel crew started taking on water and became disabled about 35 miles south of Haiti. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless crew

A Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless rescue and assist small boat crew launches to assist the 150-foot fishing vessel Grace Zanzibar Sunday, July 23, 2017.  U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless crew

MIAMI – The Coast Guard is towing a 150-foot fishing vessel with 16 people aboard to the Las Calderas, Dominican Republic.

Watchstanders with the Coast Guard 7th District Command Center received an emergency position indicating radio beacon Saturday from the Dominican Republic-flagged fishing vessel Grace Zanzibar approximately 35 miles south of Haiti. The watchstanders directed the launch of a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane crew, diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless crew to conduct a search and issued an emergency group callout to other maritime vessels in the area.

The airplane crew arrived on scene around 3 p.m. Saturday and established communications with the vessel who stated they were taking on water and disabled. The airplane crew dropped a dewatering pump, food and water to the fishing vessel.

A Coast Guard Air Station Miami HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew was diverted around midnight Sunday to assist the Grace Zanzibar crew by dropping another dewatering pump following a report that the flooding was beyond a single pump’s capacity.

Coast Guard crews were assisted in the search and response by three good Samaritan vessels, the motor vessels Pegasus Highway, Oslo Bulk 8 and Tampa Trader.

The Dauntless crew arrived on scene at approximately 10:15 a.m. Sunday and deployed a rescue and assistance crew to help the fishing vessel with flooding. The Dauntless’ small boat crew was able to secure the source of the flooding and the cutter took the disabled fishing vessel in tow. The cutter crew was also assisted by the Dominican Republic Navy vessel Canopus.

“This operation demonstrates the strong international partner nation ties that we’ve been able to foster over the past several years with our U.S. Coast Guard Western Hemisphere Strategy,” said Cmdr. Tim Sommella, commanding officer, cutter Dauntless. “We worked closely with our interagency partners at the US Embassy, government of Haiti, and Dominican Republic Navy to ensure a safe and efficient rescue at sea.”

They are scheduled to arrive in Las Calderas, Dominican Republic Tuesday afternoon.

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