Coast Guard assists vessel taking on water

Coast Guard 41-foot utility boat

USCG file photo

PORT FOURCHON, La. — The Coast Guard responded to a fishing vessel taking on water six miles southeast of Port Fourchon, Louisiana on Wednesday.

At approximately 6 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a radio distress broadcast from the captain of the fishing vessel Laura Ann stating the vessel had struck a buoy and was sinking. The watchstanders immediately issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast requesting any vessels in the vicinity of the Laura Ann to assist if possible.

The Coast Guard also dispatched a 41-foot utility boat and crew from Coast Guard Station Grand Isle, La., and two MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopters and crews from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans.

The offshore supply vessel Infant Jesus Of Prague overheard the UMIB and came to the assistance of the Laura Ann by providing a dewatering pump.

The station and aircrews provided additional dewatering pumps to prevent the Laura Ann from sinking. Once the flooding was stabilized, the Coast Guard utility boat towed the Laura Ann safely into Port Fourchon.

“The use of a VHF-FM marine-band radio put the crew of the Laura Ann in direct contact with the Coast Guard, which eliminated any delay in dispatching resources to their location,” stated Lt. Michael Wurster, an operations unit controller at the Coast Guard Sector New Orleans command center.

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