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Disaster and Accident

Two Fishermen Rescued off Wasque

Vineyard Gazette of Edgartown, Massachusetts

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Two lobstermen were rescued off Wasque early Thursday morning after their boat began taking on water.

The 44-foot lobster boat Bill B II grounded around 5 a.m. near Muskeget channel due to an unknown cause, according to Coast Guard reports. No injuries were reported.

The boat "remains aground and stuck on what it's hit," said Lieut. Bryan Swin-tek, command center chief of Sector Southeastern New England in Woods Hole. Lieutenant Swintek said the boat appears to have been anchored in that spot prior to grounding. Watchstanders from Sector Southeastern New England were notified of the incident via radio at approximately 5 a.m., Coast Guard officials said. Station Menemsha launched a life boat. By 6:10 a.m., Air Station Cape Cod responded with a rescue helicopter.

The boat's owner had proper lifesav-ing equipment on board and the two men were in a position to help themselves until the Coast Guard arrived, said Lieutenant Swintek.

With the rescue mission successfully completed, the Coast Guard turned its attention Thursday afternoon to concerns of a potential fuel spill.

Salvage company Clean Harbors was enlisted to recover the boat and clean up any pollution the grounding may have caused. The Bill BII carries a maximum of 150 gallons of fuel in its tank and is also equipped with a 55-gallon drum of diesel, said Lieutenant Swintek. That fuel may now be at risk of leaking into the water, he said.

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Original Publication Date: October 11, 2013

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