Coast Guard Assisting Fishing Vessel Taking on Water in Keys

MIAMI – Coast Guard crews from Sector Key West, Fla., are currently assisting the 42-foot fishing vessel, Madame Glenda, homeported in St. Petersburg, Fla., after the four-man crew reported to the Coast Guard that the vessel had no power or fuel and that they were taking on water approximately 30 miles northwest of Key West in 8 to 10-foot seas.

The Coast Guard District Seven Command Center in Miami received a 406 MHz emergency positioning indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) alert from the vessel, Madame Glenda, at approximately 1:55 a.m. Monday.

The Coast Guard immediately launched an HU-25 Falcon jet and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Miami, as well as diverted the Cutter Dependable and launched a 47-foot rescue boat from Station Key West.

The Falcon jet located the vessel when the crew of the Madame Glenda fired a flare to mark their position at approximately 4 a.m.

Once on scene, the crew of the Falcon jet dropped the fishermen a dewatering pump.

“The use of a flare was critical to visually locating the vessel in distress,” said Lt. Jason Barrett, aircraft commander of the Falcon jet. “This situation emphasizes not only the importance of carrying Coast Guard approved emergency signaling devices aboard all vessels, but also the working knowledge required to utilize such devices throughout adverse conditions.”

Approximately two hours later, the helicopter arrived and dropped off an additional pump to assist with the dewatering, however, apparently there was a malfunction with the second pump and the helicopter flew to meet the 47-foot boat to exchange the faulty pump with a good one.

The 47-foot rescue boat arrived on scene at approximately 8:30 a.m. and the crew began assisting the fishermen to control the flooding.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. the Dependable arrived on scene and began towing the vessel to Key West.

The Dependable is a 210-foot medium-endurance cutter homeported in Cape May, N.J.

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