Coast Guard Cutter Forward assists disabled vessel 149 miles off Cape Henry, Virginia

Crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward, a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, tow a 67-foot disabled commercial fishing vessel that became disabled 149 miles off Cape Henry, Virginia, August 8, 2019. Once the Forward towed the disabled vessel farther inland, they were met by another commercial vessel who provided them with enough oil to make it back to shore. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Eckart)

Crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forward, a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia, tow a 67-foot disabled commercial fishing vessel that became disabled 149 miles off Cape Henry, Virginia, August 8, 2019.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Petty Officer 2nd Class Victoria Eckart)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard assisted two people aboard a 67-foot commercial fishing vessel 149 miles east of Cape Henry, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads received the initial call Wednesday afternoon from the vessel, who stated its engine was excessively burning oil and would not be able to make it back to shore.

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Forward, a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter homeported in Portsmouth, was diverted from their patrol to respond, and an HC-130 Hercules aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, was also launched to locate and establish communications with the vessel.

Once on scene, the Forward took the vessel in tow, and transported it to within 15 miles of the coast of Virginia, where the vessel waited for another commercial fishing vessel to bring them additional oil to finish their transit.

“Search and rescue is one of the many missions we conduct aboard Coast Guard Cutter Forward,” said Cmdr. Michael Sharp, commanding officer of the Forward. “It’s a good thing that the mariner let us know he needed help before things got worse. We were happy to divert and help them get back to a point where their sister vessel could respond.”


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