Mother and 3 children aboard sail boat escorted to safety

PORTLAND, Maine- A mother and three children aboard a Portsmouth, N.H.-based sailing vessel were escorted to safety today after reporting to the Coast Guard that their boat was taking on water about 12 miles southwest of Cape Small, Maine.

The operator aboard sailing vessel Leona Pearl contacted Coast Guard Sector Northern New England by radio and said she had an accident with the vessel a few days ago that may have punctured the hull and now the 30-foot vessel was taking on water.

There were no reports of injuries or pollution.

Coast Guard Cutter Flyingfish, an 87-foot patrol boat from Boston, was on patrol in the area and diverted to the scene.

The Flyingfish crew arrived on scene at 12:18 p.m., and went aboard the vessel to help evaluate the cause of the flooding.

The vessel’s bilge pumps were keeping up with the water coming into the vessel, but the source of the flooding could not be determined.

The crew of the Flyingfish took the three children, ages 13, 11 and 9, aboard the cutter and escorted the Leona Pearl to Portland.

The Maine Marine Patrol and a 47-foot rescue boat crew from Coast Guard Station South Portland also assisted.

“The operator did an excellent job reporting her vessel in distress and getting everyone to put on their lifejackets,” said Lt. Lisa Tinker, the command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “She had the four pieces of information that we look for when responding to a search and rescue case: the vessel’s position, the nature of distress, the number of people on board, and the vessel’s description.”

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