Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coast Guard Tows Disabled New Bedford Vessel

A 225-foot Coast Guard cutter towed a New Bedford, Mass., fishing vessel to safety, after it became disabled approximately 70 miles east of Chatham, Mass. The five-member crew of the 70-foot Sea Siren is not in any distress. After receiving the call from the stern trawler, Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England directed the Coast Guard Cutter Juniper, homeported in Newport, R.I., to assist Sea Siren's crew. "Communicating with the disabled vessel was difficult due to how far offshore they were," said Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas Sawka, the operations unit controller at Sector Southeastern New England. "Luckily, the crew was able to use their satellite phone to let us know they were having engine problems."The cutter, which was about 80 miles from the Sea Siren, arrived on scene. "When we arrived on scene there were 10-foot seas and winds gusting up to 30 knots," said Seaman Terrance Daignault, a crewman aboard the Juniper. "The boat was dead in the water and taking waves on its broadside." The cutter crew launched a tow line to the Sea Siren using a line throwing gun and the fishing boat's crew pulled the line onto their boat and hooked up the tow. The Juniper is towing the Sea Siren toward Buzzards Bay, Mass., at a speed of about three knots, where they are scheduled to meet a commercial tug. The tug plans to tow the Sea Siren into New Bedford.

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