Coast Guard tows distressed vessel from 60 miles off NC coast

5th Coast Guard District NewsPORTSMOUTH, Va. —The Coast Guard is towing a disabled 40-foot fishing vessel to Beaufort, N.C., Thursday.

A family member of the Provider II’s crew notified Coast Guard watchstanders that the ship was disabled and adrift approximately 60 miles east of Cape Fear, N.C., at approximately 1 a.m.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington, N.C., issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Block Island, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Atlantic Beach, N.C., to the fishing vessel’s position.

“This was a well-prepared mariner,” said Capt. Anthony Popiel, the commander of Sector North Carolina. “The fact that the master of the vessel had long range communications equipment, in this case a satellite phone, allowed his rescue before the situation became more serious.”

The Block Island arrived on scene, and the crew rigged the Provider II for towing while beset by 10-15 mph winds and 3-5 foot waves. At approximately 4:15 p.m., a 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Fort Macon in Fort Macon, N.C., took over the tow en route to Beaufort.

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