Maine fishermen abandon boat, rescued from life raft

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – The Coast Guard and Maine Marine Patrol rescued two fishermen today after their boat began taking on water and sinking about seven miles east of Biddeford Pool, Maine.

Andrew Johnson and a second unidentified fisherman were aboard the 44-foot fishing vessel Whistling Dixie, home ported in South Harpswell, Maine, when they believe it struck a submerged object.

The vessel began taking on water, and the on-board pumps were not keeping up so they radioed for help at 11:22 a.m., and then climbed into the boat’s life raft to wait for assistance.

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England in South Portland, Maine, issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast. Hearing the broadcast, a Maine Marine Patrol boat located and recovered the two men, uninjured, from the life raft at 11:36 a.m., and brought them to the sector.

The Whistling Dixie is partially submerged in 330 feet of water. The boat had about 100 gallons of fuel on board. The Coast Guard Cutter Flyingfish, which also responded to the distress call, remains on scene with the Whistling Dixie and reports no signs of pollution.

Sector Northern New England is broadcasting safety messages to warn mariners in the area that the vessel is protruding from the water and poses a danger to passing boats.

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