Rescue calls and safety checks keep Canal Coast Guard crews busy this holiday weekend


Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal assist two fishermen after their boat caught fire east of Plymouth, Mass., Nov. 27, 2011. The Plymouth harbormaster towed the vessel back to its homeport of Plymouth Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Cape Cod.

Crews conduct four search and rescue missions and nineteen vessel boardings

The Coast Guard reports a busy holiday weekend for crewmembers from US Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal. According to a release from the Coast Guard, over a three-day period, crewmembers conducted four search and rescue missions and nineteen vessel safety boardings.

BOSTON - Crewmembers from Coast Guard Station Cape Cod Canal assist two fishermen after their boat caught fire east of Plymouth, Mass., Nov. 27, 2011. The Plymouth harbormaster towed the vessel back to its homeport of Plymouth Harbor. U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Cape Cod.

The first search and rescue was on Friday, when crews responded to a disabled vehicle three miles east of the Canal entrance on Cape Cod Bay. Two adults, two children and a dog were rescued from the boat. There were no reported injuries.

No injuries were reported during two more rescues from disabled boats on Saturday. Three people aboard one vessel and two aboard another were rescued three miles from the east entrance of the Canal.

On Sunday, a Station Cape Cod Bay crew, a Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Station Cape Cod Canal boat crew all responded to an electrical fire aboard the 42-foot Silver Star out of Plymouth. The Plymouth Harbormaster towed the vessel back to her homeport.

All but one of the emergency calls were reported to the Coast Guard on a cell phone through a third party because three of the vessels did not have a marine-band VHF radio, according to the Coast Guard. The use of marine-band VHF radios enable the Coast Guard to receive more real-time information and use technology to better pinpoint a boat's location.

"Don't rely on cell phones working at sea," said Chief Petty Officer Robert Holland, the officer in charge at Station Cape Cod Canal. "Use a marine-band VHF radio and have all of your required safety equipment readily available at all times."

In addition to the four search and rescues, Station Cape Cod Canal crews conducted 19 safety boardings and issued 16 violations:

  • Four violations for not having a Type IV throw-able flotation device
  • Two violations for not having a sound-producing device
  • Three violations for not having valid boat registration
  • Four violations for not having visual distress signals, such as flares
  • Three violations for missing or non-operational fire extinguishers

The voyages of the three vessels with fire extinguisher violations were terminated, according to the Coast Guard.

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