Coast Guard Weighs Policies in Wake of Gloucester Sinking

A Coast Guard Station Castle Hill 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew returns to the station after assisting a disabled vessel near Fort Adams in Newport, R.I. Photo/USCG

The Boston Globe reports that Coast Guard officials are considering a series of policy changes that would be binding nationwide as a result of the recent case involving a Gloucester-based commercial fishing boat that sank while being towed and whose captain died of an apparent heart attack after entering the frigid water. At issue was a Coast Guard-supplied dewatering pump that the crew of the fishing boat said failed to operate reliably. Also, the Coast Guard boat was not equipped with a defibrillator, which may have saved the captain’s life.

Among the policy changes being considered are new requirements for Coast Guard vessels to be equipped with defibrillators; new protocols to make sure sinking vessels receive reliable pumps; and new methods to deliver lifesaving items from helicopters without endangering personnel.

Read more about the new Coast Guard policy changes being considered in the wake of a fatal sinking off Gloucester, MA.