Coast Guard responds to sinking fishing vessel

BOSTON – Coast Guard rescue crews responded to reports that a New Bedford-based fishing vessel was sinking south of Menemsha, Mass., around 4 a.m., today.

The crew of the 40-foot wooden-hulled Samantha and Serena contacted Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England at 3 a.m., via VHF channel 16 to report their vessel was taking on water and dewatering pumps had failed.

The Coast Guard launched a 47-foot rescue boat crew from Station Menemsha, which arrived on scene around 4 a.m., and transferred a new pump to the sinking vessel. The vessel was dewatered and is being escorted back to its home port. A Jayhawk rescue helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod also responded to the call.

No injuries were reported aboard the Samantha and Serena.

“The crew of the sinking vessel knew how to respond in this emergency situation,” said Petty Officer Second Class Lance Nelligan, the officer of the day at Station Menemsha. “They made a radio distress call to the Coast Guard and had their life raft and emergency position indicating radio beacon standing by in case the vessel sank.”

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