Coast Guard assists disabled Canadian sailors

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON – A U.S. Coast Guard crew is assisting two sailors back to port after their 35-foot sailboat became disabled approximately 40 miles east of Southwest Harbor, Maine, Wednesday.

Sailors aboard the sailboat Excaliber, homeported in Stanley, Ontario, called watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England on VHF-FM radio channel 16 around 7:45 a.m. to report they were dealing with rough weather, but were not in any distress. They called again around 12:10 p.m., to report their boom had broken, the vessel was taking water over the stern, and they could only sail in one direction.

Sector watchstanders established a communication schedule with the boat and dispatched a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor.

Once on scene the boatcrew assessed the vessel’s damage and decided the safest course of action was to tow the boat into port.

The Coast Guard crew is towing the Excaliber toward Manset Dock in Southwest Harbor.

There are no reports of injuries.

On-scene winds were at 35 to 45 knots, seas were at 8 to 10 feet, and visibility was at three miles.

“Because of the sailor’s good judgment to let us know they were having difficulties, we were able to keep close tabs on the boat which enabled us to respond quicker when their situation deteriorated,” said Chief Petty Officer Matthew Couling, the command duty officer at Sector Northern New England’s command center.

The Coast Guard recommends mariners have a both a VHF-FM radio and a secondary means of communication aboard their vessel at all times.

This is the First Coast Guard District’s 2,714th search and rescue case since January 2011.

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