Workboat Capsizes Off Sakonnet Point, RI

According to reports, a large swell caused the workboat to capsize as it was tied off to Sakonnet Light. Photo by ## Tom Richardson##

Monday, July 12: At approximately 10:00 a.m., the Coast Guard issued a report of a 30-foot aluminum vessel that capsized off Sakonnet Light in Little Compton, Rhode Island, sending its crew into the water.

Satellite view of Sakonnet.
Chart of Sakonnet.

The boat was being used to transport a contracted work crew who was servicing the lighthouse, when a large swell hit the vessel broadside, causing it to overturn near the rocks, according to WPRI Eyewitness News. A Good Samaritan kayaker who witnessed the accident rescued 2 of the crewmembers and summoned rescue personnel via VHF. Coast Guard Station Castle Hill, the Little Compton Fire Department and the Tiverton harbormaster responded to the scene, where they assisted in rescuing the remaining crewmembers from the lighthouse rocks. Calls by BoatingLocal to the Coast Guard and the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management were unable to confirm the number of crewmen rescued. Some sources put the number at 3, others at 7. Winds at the time of the accident were south at around 10 to 15 knots and seas were 3 to 4 feet. The workboat was eventually towed to shore in Sakonnet Harbor. No injuries were reported.

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