Coast Guard

Northeast Coast Guard units respond to a fishing vessel in distress, 69 miles south of Shinnecock, NY, Thursday.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Shinnecock in Hampton Bays, NY, received a report around 11:30 p.m, Thursday, from the crew of the fishing vessel Rhonda Denise who was assisting the fishing vessel Tradition that was disabled and adrift due to a fire in the engine room.

The coordination effort throughout the response for the disabled fishing vessel Tradition was paramount…”

The Rhonda Denise crew attempted to tow the 63-foot disable vessel Tradition, but the towline parted and they were unable to re-establish a tow due to weather conditions. The on scene weather conditions during the initial incident were winds blowing at 20-25 knots; seas were 5-9 feet with water temperature at 44 degrees.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Command Center in New Haven, CT, were unable to establish communications with the vessel Tradition and had the vessel Rhonda Denise remain on scene until a Coast Guard cutter could relieve them. Additionally, watchstanders issued a maritime assistance request broadcast launched a Coast Guard cutter and an aircraft from Air Station Cape Cod, to deploy a communications package to the vessel Tradition due to unreliable communications.

“The coordination effort throughout the response for the disabled fishing vessel Tradition was paramount,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Morgan Gallapis, an operations unit watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound Command Center.”Our command center coordinated communications between a boat tracking company and the samaritan vessel Rhonda Denise who assisted the vessel Tradition by attempting to tow the vessel and remain on scene providing communications until the Coast Guard was able to establish direct communications. Due to weather conditions deteriorating and forecasted gale conditions offshore and a disabled vessel with no electricity drifting; we made the determination to send our cutter to tow the vessel back to port.”

Nearly 35 hours after the initial distress call the Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel, from Woods Hole, MA, towed the fishing vessel Tradition more than 68 miles back to Shinnecock Inlet where Station Shinnecock’s crew relieved the tow and moored the vessel Tradition to the town fish pier.


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