Portsmouth, Va. — The Coast Guard assisted five people aboard a 54-foot fishing boat by mooring the boat Thursday morning, officials tell NewsChannel 3, after towing them approximately 55 miles from south of Cape Hatteras, N.C., to Wanchese, N.C.
The operator of the fishing boat Blue Fin contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders at approximately 7 a.m. Wednesday and requested assistance for the five crewmembers after the fishing boat became disabled and adrift approximately 12 miles south of Cape Hatteras.
Sector North Carolina watchstanders issued a marine assistance request broadcast and did not receive a response. Since commercial assistance was unable to respond that far offshore, watchstanders dispatched a crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Block Island, a 110-foot patrol boat homeported in Atlantic Beach, N.C., to assist.
The Block Island and crew arrived on scene at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and began towing the fishing boat to Oregon Inlet.
The crew aboard the Block Island transferred the tow at approximately 4 a.m. Thursday to crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat.
“Due to shoaling concerns near Oregon Inlet, we took precautions to ensure a safe transfer of tow with Station Oregon Inlet who assisted the disabled vessel and its crew safely back home,” said Lt. j.g. Alexander Eames, the executive officer of the Block Island.
The Station Oregon Inlet crew moored the Blue Fin at the Willie R. Etheridge Seafood Company in Wanchese, N.C., at approximately 6:30 a.m.
“It’s another great example of Coast Guard preparedness and coordination coming together to assist mariners in distress,” said Eames.
“The crews’ professionalism and training was vital in initiating and maintaining safe towing operations through the night and completing a safe transfer to save five lives and the livelihood of these fishermen.”
No injuries were reported.
Watch NewsChannel 3 for updates.