Disabled Gloucester boat being towed into Provincetown Saturday morning

BOSTON — The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba will be turning the tow of the Gloucester-based lobster boat over to Station Provincetown, Mass., Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009, at about 9 a.m.

After they turn the tow over, Station Provincetown’s boat crew will bring the Michael and Kristen into Provincetown, and the Escanaba will stay offshore, standing by to rescue other boaters who may get caught in Saturday’s storm.

Thursday morning as the Rachel Leah was towing the Michael and Kristen, the towline parted, so the Escanaba took over and the Rachel Leah departed.

The crew of the Escanaba worked with the First District command center staff in Boston to determine the safest location to tow the Michael and Kristen to.

Nine to 10-foot seas and 30 mph winds have kept the Escanaba’s towing speed at about 5 mph.

The lobster vessel was disabled Wednesday with five people aboard more than 200 miles southeast of Nantucket, Mass.

The master of the 77-foot lobster boat called for help at about 3:30 p.m., Wednesday when the boat’s engines wouldn’t start. The Rachel Leah, another fishing vessel in the area, answered the calls for help and began towing the Michael and Kristen. The Escanaba met both vessels around 9:30 p.m., Wednesday and stayed with them through the night.

The 270-foot Boston-based Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba is a medium endurance cutter based in Boston.

A video of the Escanaba preparing to tow the Michael and Kristen.

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