SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

September 24, 2009

Tuna fishermen pulled from capsized boat

A boat that fishes for tuna out of Gloucester was hit by a wave and capsized about three miles east of the Isles of Shoals off Portsmouth, N.H., yesterday.

Two men, believed to be from Middleton, were rescued from the water early yesterday morning after the Coast Guard issued an emergency broadcast for a 25-foot pleasure craft that capsized near the series of nine, rocky islands that are divided along the border of New Hampshire and Maine.

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England received a distress call at 6:15 a.m. that the vessel, identified as the Tail Spin, was taking on water and the crew was planning to abandon ship.

"From what we understand right now, the individuals were attempting to anchor, and two waves came over the back, swamping the vessel," Petty Officer Matthew Merical told reporters yesterday.

Coast Guard Station Portsmouth Harbor and Station Merrimack River launched 25-foot rescue boats but were called back after they were notified that the Mary Jane, a commercial fishing vessel out of Portsmouth, had picked up the two men.

Waves were running 2 to 3 feet at the time, water temperatures were hovering in the low 60s and wind speed was around 10 knots, the Coast Guard said.

Authorities wouldn't release the identities of the rescued men but said they were believed to be in their 40s.

According to information obtained by the Coast Guard, the Tail Spin fishes for tuna out of Gloucester Harbor.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan Washburn said the men were able to climb on top of the hull of the overturned boat yesterday morning after spending less than 10 minutes in the water. They flagged down the Mary Jane and remained on the good Samaritans' vessel until the Coast Guard arrived and took them back to land.

The Coast Guard said both men were wearing life vests and were not injured as a result of the ordeal; there were no reports of pollution.

The Tail Spin was recovered late yesterday afternoon, Coast Guard officials said.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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