Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Rockport harbormaster’s office pulled two fishermen from the waters of the Atlantic late Friday night after their 65-foot fishing vessel took on water and sank roughly 3 miles off Rockport’s Thacher Island.
U.S. Coast Guard officials Sunday declined to identify the fishermen, who had been working aboard the 48-year-old dragger Terra Nova when the boat suddenly began taking on water sometime around 8:30 p.m. Friday.
As the boat was going down, the fishing crew members abandoned ship, according to Coast Guard reports. But a helicopter based out of Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was able to locate the fishermen in the water, lift one into the copter and transport him to Massachusetts General Hospital, while the second fisherman was pulled into the Rockport harbormaster’s boat, then taken to Coast Guard Station Gloucester and transported from there to Addison Gilbert Hospital.
There remained no word Sunday regarding the condition of the fisherman who was taken by the Coast Guard to Mass. General; Rockport Harbormaster Scott Story said Sunday that the fisherman he transported to Coast Guard Station Gloucester was “conscious, alert, oriented — and very happy to see me.” But there was also no update regarding his condition as of Sunday afternoon.
In addition to Coast Guard Station Gloucester, Coast Guard Sector Boston and the Rockport harbormasters, the rescue response and effort also included a crew from Coast Guard Station Gloucester, and what Story and the Coast Guard called a number of “Good Samaritan volunteer fishermen who came in to help.”
Story said that the Terra Nova — built in 1965 as the fishing vessel Little Infant, and one of the few remaining wooden-hulled draggers remaining in the Cape Cod-based fishing fleet, records show — had already gone down when rescuers were combing the roughly 53-degree waters where the vessel had sent its emergency notification.