CAPE MAY — A Coast Guard boat crew rescued a 77-foot commercial fishing vessel from sinking more than 50 miles east of Cape May on Monday afternoon.
The Fifth Coast Guard District, located in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an alert about 1 p.m. from the trawler Capt. Garland’s emergency position indicating radio beacon.
The Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson, which was conducting law-enforcement operations within 10 miles of the sinking vessel, homed in on the signal.
The fishing vessel, originally from North Carolina, had taken on 3 feet of water. The Lawson sent over a 20-person crew with de-watering pumps to assist the three crew members on board.
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“If we wouldn’t have got the hit or the location, there’s a very large possibility the whole thing could’ve gone down,” said Petty Officer First Class Alexander Castonguay, a watchstander at Sector Delaware Bay.
The Lawson escorted the fishing vessel back to Cape May, where it moored up Tuesday morning.
“A properly registered EPIRB ensured a rapid Coast Guard response resulting in three lives and thousands of dollars of property saved,” Lt. Catherine Taylor-Pravia, Fifth District command duty officer, said in a news release. “This case is a good reminder to mariners of the importance of maintaining a properly registered EPIRB.”