Coast Guard assists disabled New Bedford fishing scalloper

Cutter Seneca towed 85-foot vessel through 20-25 knot winds, 5-8 foot seas

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Seneca prepares to tow the 85-foot scalloper Paul & Michelle after it lost engine power approximately 26 miles south of Montauk, New York, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. The cutter will tow the New Bedford-based vessel to Rhode Island Sound where a commercial salvager is scheduled to complete the tow to port. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Christopher Wheeler.

The United States Coast Guard reports that a New bedford fishing vessel and its seven crewmembers are safe in port after the scalloper become disabled approximately 26 miles south of Montauk, N.Y., and was towed by a Boston-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter and commercial salvager yesterday.

Seneca crewmen get ready to attach tow to scalloper Paul & Michelle in 8-foor seas off Montauk. USCG photo by C.P.O. Christopher Wheeler.
The crew of the 85-foot scalloper Paul & Michelle called Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound command center via VHF-FM radio around 2:30 a.m., for assistance after the boat lost engine power on their way back to homeport.

The Coast Guard issued a Marine Assistance Request Broadcast, asking mariners in the area to assist the adrift vessel. The command center dispatched a cutter crew who was on patrol nearly 60 miles away to assist the Paul & Michelle after they did not receive a response to the MARB.

The 270-foot Coast Guard Cutter Seneca towed the vessel through 20-25 knot winds and 5-8 foot seas to approximately three miles east of Block Island, R.I., where the commercial salvage vessel Hunts Girls met them around 8:30 p.m.

"We are very happy to have the fishing vessel Paul & Michelle and her crew safely in port,” said Cmdr. Charles Fosse, the commanding officer of the Seneca. “The formidable on scene weather with high seas and gusting winds made this a difficult towing mission and I'm very proud of my crew who executed their demanding roles professionally with positive results."

The Hunts Girls, based in Point Judith, R.I., completed the tow into New Bedford.

The Seneca crew has been on patrol within First Coast Guard District waters since Nov. 29, ensuring a safe, secure and reliable maritime environment that supports all businesses, large and small.

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