Coast Guard finishes busy two weeks in northern New England

BOSTON – (D1 Public Affairs) Coast Guard units in northern New England performed major search and rescue cases the past few weeks including saving two people from a life raft and responding to a plane crash.

A Station Southwest Harbor, Maine, 47-foot motor life boat crew rescued a father and son from a life raft in foggy conditions after the 40-foot lobster boat they were in caught fire and sank near Mount Harbor Rock June 17.

The lobster boat crew drifted for about two hours in dense fog until they got a cell phone signal and were able to reach a family friend ashore, who alerted the Coast Guard.

A Falcon jet and Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., a Southwest Harbor 41-foot utility boat, and the Jonesport, Maine-based Coast Guard Cutter Moray, an 87-foot patrol boat, assisted in the case. No injuries were reported.

Brunswick Naval Air Station personnel called the Coast Guard Command Center in South Portland June 15, alerting them that a Cessna Skymaster they were tracking disappeared from radar 20 nautical miles east of Cape Elizabeth at 8,000 feet.

An Air Station Cape Cod Falcon jet located the debris field, and reported the position to a Station South Portland 47-foot motor life boat, which recovered two bodies, a husband and wife from Millinocket, Maine, who were flying to New Jersey. Some of the wreckage was also recovered, and the cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Station Boothbay Harbor’s 47-foot motor life boat responded June 14 to a 45-foot sport fisher taking on water 12 nautical miles southeast of Port Clyde. The vessel did have working pumps that were keeping up with the flooding, but the Coast Guard boat provided a safety escort, and had another dewatering pump on standby. The vessel was safely moored in Ocean Point Marina.

In addition to these cases, Coast Guard units in Northern New England responded to other calls involving disabled vessels that required communications assistance, which were all resolved safely.

“The summer boating season is in full swing here in the northern regions of New England,” said Lisa Tinker, with Sector Northern New England. “We encourage mariners to enjoy their recreational maritime activities, but also recommend they keep themselves and their families safe by using basic life saving equipment such as life jackets, a VHF radio, and a satellite locating device. Additionally, boaters should file a float plan with a friend or neighbor, and never venture out on the water if bad weather is approaching.”

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England stretches from the Canadian border south to the Merrimack River at the Massachusetts and New Hampshire border. The Sector has six small boat stations and eight cutters that patrol its waters, performing not only search and rescue missions, but also aids to navigation, marine environmental protection, maritime law enforcement and homeland security missions.

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