The Coast Guard, deploying search-and-rescue vessels and aircraft from Gloucester and four other duty stations, searched more than 600 nautical square miles Sunday night before rescuing two overdue mariners from danger in the wee hours of Monday morning.
The two men — Hoai Pham and Tong Le — were aboard a 26-foot aluminum fishing boat that had left Gloucester earlier Sunday on a tuna fishing trip out along Stellwagen Bank. A family associate called the Coast Guard about 7 p.m. Sunday to report the men — who were expected back in Gloucester around 5 p.m. — were long overdue and their vehicle and trailer remained at the dock in Gloucester, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard, according to Petty Officer Ryan Noel, scrambled a 47-foot lifesaving vessel from Station Gloucester, as well as vessels from Station Point Allerton in Hull and Station Boston to search for the overdue vessel.
The 87-foot Coast Guard Cutter Steelhead, currently ported in Newport, Rhode Island, was in the area and joined the search, Noel said. The Coast Guard also dispatched a fixed-wing aircraft from Station Cape Cod to assist in the search.
Noel said the Steelhead, which carries a crew of 12, located the overdue vessel around midnight out near the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the somewhat rectangular boundary of which stretches from three miles southeast of Cape Ann to three miles north of Cape Cod. The sanctuary encompasses all of Stellwagen Bank, a fishing ground located about 15 miles southeast of Gloucester to about six miles north of Provincetown.
"The vessel had none of its navigation lights operational and had experienced engine failure," Noel said. "The vessel was escorted safely back to Cape Ann's Marina Resort in Gloucester. They arrived about 5 a.m. There were no injuries."
Noel said the search encompassed 638 nautical square miles. He also said the Coast Guard did not have any residency information for the two men. Their boat carries a New Hampshire state registration.
Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT