By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times
---- — BOSTON — U.S. Coast Guard rescue crews assisted five people aboard a fishing vessel out of New Bedford when the vessel began sinking after taking on water approximately 100 miles southeast of Nantucket Thursday afternoon.
According to the Coast Guard, watchstanders from the Sector Southeastern New England Command Center received a distress call from the 80-foot fishing vessel Megan-Marie at approximately 6:40 p.m., Wednesday.
The Megan-Marie, owned by a Daniel Farnham of Montauk, N.Y., had all the required safety gear as well as dewatering pumps, but the pumps were not keeping up with the flooding. A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60T Jayhawk helicopter crew and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry crew, a Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City C-130 Hercules crew, the Coast Guard Cutter Seneca and the Coast Guard Cutter Flying Fish were launched to assist.
Additionally, a NAVTEX message was broadcasted requesting vessels in the area to assist if possible.
The air station’s newest aircraft, the HC-144 Ocean Sentry, was the first to arrive on scene with the vessel and established communications while delivering two dewatering pumps. Weather conditions were reportedly 10 to 14-foot seas and 25-knot winds.
The C-130 Hercules crew dropped an additional pump which allowed the Megan-Marie crew to control the flooding and identify the source, which turned out to be a hole located under the engine block, making it impossible to patch or secure underway, Coast Guard officials said. The Seneca and the Flying Fish were escorting the Megan-Marie and her crew safely to its homeport of New Bedford Thursday night.