Coast Guard terminates fishing trip

Coast Guard Cutter Legare

USCGC Legare file photo

BOSTON — A Coast Guard crew terminated the voyage of a 48-foot tuna fishing boat approximately 150 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Legare boarded the fishing boat Hot Tuna and discovered the boat did not have a life ring, its flares expired prior to 2007, the life raft expired in 2009, the hydrostatic release on the emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) expired in 2005, and the battery of the EPIRB failed when tested.

“All of this equipment is essential for the safety of the crew,” said Petty Officer 1st Class James Bayer, the search and rescue controller at the First Coast Guard District Command Center in Boston. “This gear can save your life if you find yourself in distress and to not have it on board your vessel can put you and your crew in a dangerous and potentially deadly situation.”

The two-person crew of the Hot Tuna, homeported in Harwich, Mass., was directed to return to homeport and restricted from getting underway until the discrepancies are corrected and verified by Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England personnel.

The Hot Tuna crew is en route toward Nantucket, Mass., where they will be met by Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous for escort to Great Round Shoal.

The boats are expected to arrive sometime Thursday morning.

“With temperatures dropping it’s more important than ever that mariners ensure they have the proper, required gear on board their vessel and make sure it’s in good, working order,” said Bayer. “We are boarding vessels to ensure they meet the requirements in hopes that this gear would save their life if they were in the position to need it.”

The cutter Legare is a 270-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Portsmouth, Va.

The cutter Vigorous is a 210-foot medium endurance cutter homeported in Cape May, NJ.

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