The crew of the Coast Guard cutter Key Largo, homeported in Gloucester since April, assisted in the rescue of four people who were aboard a disabled fishing vessel 97 miles east of Boston.

The captain of the 80-foot fishing vessel Lydia and Mya, homeported in Boston, used a VHF-16 radio Wednesday about 9:30 a.m. to contact  Coast Guard Sector Boston to report Lydia and Mya was disabled due to mechanical problems.

Search and rescue coordinators at Sector Boston issued a marine assistance request broadcast soliciting assistance for Lydia and Mya from good Samaritans or a commercial salvage company. After the request went unanswered, the Coast Guard cutter Escanaba, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Boston, was sent to assist.

The Escanaba took the Lydia and Mya, loaded with 1,200 pounds of haddock, in stern tow at approximately 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The crew of the Escanaba passed the tow to the crew of the 110-foot Key Largo early Thursday morning. This is the Escanaba’s fourth tow of a disabled vessel in two months. Jay Woodhead, command duty officer at Sector Boston’s Command Center, said he believed this is the first tow for the Key Largo since it arrived here from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Key Largo handed off the tow to a US Tow vessel which brought the Lydia and Mya to the Boston Fish Pier around 7:20 Thursday night, according to Woodhead.

“The Coast Guard should be the last resort for assisting disabled vessels that are not in distress,” said Lt. Samantha Leon, a watchstander at the First Coast Guard District's command center. "It is the responsibility of the owner of the disabled vessel to find a commercial salvage company that can assist them. Using a Coast Guard asset in these situations ties up Coast Guard crews who might be needed during a real emergency.”

Having a preventative maintenance plan is essential in keeping a vessel in good working order, according to the Coast Guard. Many mechanical failures can be avoided through following such a plan. Recreational and commercial vessel owners must keep up-to-date with preventative maintenance, especially with harsher weather headed to our area, the Coast Guard said. For additional information, recreational boaters can visit uscgboating.org, and commercial mariners can visit The National Maritime Center.

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