Coast Guard helps New Bedford vessel sinking off Nantucket

NEW BEDFORD — A  New Bedford fishing vessel, in danger of sinking early Saturday morning, was saved following prompt action from Coast Guard crews. The 84-foot steel dragger Luzitano was around 40 miles southeast of Nantucket, when the crew discovered flooding in the engine room. Coast Guard watchstanders received a distress call from the Luzitano at approximately 4:18 a.m reporting that they were taking on water with seven people aboard. Although the Luzitano had three dewatering pumps onboard, they were not keeping up with the flooding. A Jayhawk helicopter crew and a Falcon Jet crew launched from  to assist the fishermen and delivered two additional pumps to the Luzitano. With the additional pumps the crew was able to keep up with the flooding which resulted from a four-inch hole in the engine room. The Luzitano was making its way to Woods Hole on Saturday where a Coast Guard crew is scheduled to escort them to New Bedford. “This case is a good example on why it is important to contact the Coast Guard immediately,” said Scott Backholm, the command duty officer at Sector Southeastern New England. “The faster we have visibility on a situation the faster our rescue crews can respond.” The Luzitano, built in 1978, is owned by the Hope II, Inc.


Don Cuddy

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