As a winter storm rolled in, crew members aboard the Montauk-based Endorphin fishing vessel last weekend, were facing a difficult situation. Their boat had lost power and their food supply was dwindling.
Despite receiving help from the crew of another fishing boat, the Endorphin was still unable to make its way back home until the U.S. Coast Guard rescue air crew responded to the scene, delivering food, water and a means of communication. The Endorphin’s three crew members were finally brought to shore on Saturday evening.
On Friday morning, Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound watchstanders received a report that the Endorphin possibly had water in its fuel line, causing the vessel to lose power, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta Disco. The boat was stranded 86 miles southeast of Montauk Point when good Samaritans on the Bookie, another fishing vessel, came to the rescue. According to Petty Officer Disco, the crew was unable to tow Endorphin because of weather conditions, but acted as a middleman between the Coast Guard and the Endorphin crew since the disabled vessel was without a means of communication.
“It was extremely important for them to be there,” Petty Officer Disco said. “They were pretty much the eyes and ears for the vessel. They were able to stay on the scene with them until the Coast Guard arrived. They were able to keep updating the Coast Guard of the Endorphin as the storm was approaching and visibility was reduced by the snow and rain.”
At the time, the seas were at 8 to 13 feet, winds were at 35 knots and the water’s temperature was sitting at a low 32 degrees.
While the Coast Guard cutter Tahoma, of Boston, made its way to the scene, a rescue aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod in Massachusetts delivered food, water and a handheld radio to the stranded crew, who had been under way for eight days when their engines died. At that point, the Endorphin had enough food and the required safety equipment.
On Friday night, the Tahoma arrived on the scene and began to tow the Endorphin back home. At this point, the seas had subsided from 12 to 15 feet to 2 to 4 feet, making conditions favorable for rescue. Before they reached the Montauk Inlet on Saturday, a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Montauk relieved the tow from Tahoma. They reached shore by 9 p.m. Saturday night after a long day of snow showers.
“It was a combined effort,” Petty Officer Disco said. “Between the Tahoma, the aircrew, the command center and the good Samaritans, they coordinated the Coast Guard response successfully to save the crew and bring the boat back safely to shore.”