Coast Guard crews rescue two mariners after vessel sinks near Point Judith Harbor

USCG file photo

POINT JUDITH, Rhode Island — U.S. Coast Guard crews rescued two mariners after the fishing vessel Damariscotta sank near Point Judith, Jan. 3, 2011.

Coast Guard crews recovered the mariners after escorting the 45-foot vessel seven miles into Point Judith Harbor.

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England watchstanders received a distress call from the captain of the vessel stating it was taking on water at approximately 1:45 p.m. Rescue crews from Station Point Judith, Coast Guard Cutter Juniper and Air Station Cape Cod diverted to the scene after the initial call and arrived less than 15 minutes later. Rescue crews worked with the captain of the vessel and started an escort to Point Judith Harbor.

A Coast Guard 25-foot boat crew noticed the stern of the vessel only had one foot of freeboard and was listing. The vessel had approximately one foot of water on the deck. The Coast Guard crew requested to come on board the vessel to pump the water, but the captain denied assistance.

The fishing vessel later sank in 12 feet of water approximately 30 yards from Town Pier at approximately 3 p.m. Two mariners were plucked from the water by rescue crews and were taken to shore.

Coast Guard crews have deemed the sunken vessel clear of channel traffic, but are marking the location of the vessel to avoid any hazard to navigation. Pollution investigators are on scene to monitor any risk of pollution and have used oil boom to secure any leaks from the vessel. The vessel owner has hired a private company to clean any oil and are creating a salvage plan.

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