Fishing Vessel Sinks in Point Judith Harbor

View of Coast Guard Station Point Judith. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Lauren Jorgensen (Feb. 2009)

Coast Guard crews rescued 2 men from the 45-foot fishing vessel Damariscotta, which began taking on water 7 miles off Point Judith, Rhode Island, on Monday, January 3. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England watchstanders received a distress call from the captain of the vessel stating that it was taking on water at approximately 1:45 p.m. Rescue crews from Station Point Judith, the Cutter Juniper and Air Station Cape Cod arrived less than 15 minutes later and started an escort to Point Judith Harbor.

Chart of area.

As the vessels entered the harbor, a Coast Guard crewman noticed the stern of the Damariscotta had only 1 foot of freeboard remaining and was listing heavily. The Coast Guard crew requested to board the vessel and pump the water, but the captain of the Damariscotta denied assistance.

The fishing vessel later sank in 12 feet of water approximately 30 yards from State Pier at approximately 3:00 p.m. Two mariners were plucked from the water by rescue crews and were taken ashore.

Coast Guard crews have deemed the sunken vessel clear of channel traffic, but are marking its location to avoid any hazard to navigation. Pollution investigators are on scene to monitor any risk of pollution and have used an oil boom to secure any leaks.

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