Southeastern New England Coast Guard Saves Five Lives in Three Incidents


US Coast Guard Boat

US Coast Guard Boat

HYANNIS – The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan teamed up to respond to three separate Southeastern New England maritime emergencies last night.

“Since last night, the command center’s four person watch team utilized our technology and partnerships with local agencies to expertly execute three separate search and rescue cases, saving five lives,” said Captain John Kondratowicz, Commander of Sector Southeastern New England.

At about 4:30 a.m. this morning, the captain aboard the fishing boat Sasha Lee used contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England and relayed they were taking on water 11 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard and had four people aboard.

A 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew from Coast Guard Station Menemsha was dispatched and the Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Boston, also diverted to help.

Once on scene, two Coast Guard station members went aboard the Sasha Lee with a dewatering pump and controled the flooding.

A fishing boat, the Triunfo, responded to the UMIB, arrived on scene, and took Sasha Lee into tow and brought the vessel to New Bedford.

At about 5 a.m. this morning, a crewman aboard the 57-foot fishing boat Defender contacted Sector Southeastern New England reporting a 47-year-old male aboard Defender was suffering a life threatening medical emergency and needed immediate medical attention.

A MH-60 helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was dispatched and coordinated rescue efforts with Massachusetts Environmental Police, who arrived on scene, transferred the man aboard their boat, and transferred his care to emergency medical personnel.

“The teamwork of the Spencer and Station Menemsha to dewater the Sasha Lee was paramount in keeping the vessel from sinking.  The crew of the Sasha Lee were also proactive and well versed in their emergency procedures.  Air Station Cape Cod and the Massachusetts Environmental Police were instrumental to medically evacuate a potential heart attack victim.  This is the reason why our crews train with local crews and partner agencies — to be force multipliers,” said Kondratowicz.

Prior to today’s incidents, Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England heard “help” at about 7:50 p.m. last night over VHF-FM Channel 16 on the Truro Rescue-21 Remote Fixed Facility.

The watchstanders issued a UMIB and coordinated for an HC-144 Ocean Sentry air crew from Air Station Cape Cod to search the area.

The watch team used NOAA’s Vessel Monitoring System to search for fishing vessels along the line of bearing, and contacted nearby fishing boats to see if they observed any distress signals.

The search was suspended, pending further developments, after no further indications of distress.

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