Coast Guard Station Montauk and Air Station Cape Cod assisted a commercial fishing vessel, the Caitlan & Mairead, near Montauk Point last week after its engine compartment started to flood. The crew successfully de-watered the compartment just hours later, according to the Coast Guard.
At 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18, Station Montauk contacted Sector Long Island Sound after the crew of the Caitlan & Mairead, which is based in Montauk, alerted them that the vessel was flooding about 26 miles south of Montauk Point.
The four-man crew of the commercial vessel started a de-watering pump as they continued to sail toward Montauk. According to the Coast Guard, they did not request assistance initially, but at 5:30 p.m. told the Coast Guard that they were unable to keep up with the amount of water flooding into the engine compartment and had lost power. The water was contained in the compartment but had risen to the deck plate level.
The Caitlan & Mairead crew had life rafts, an emergency radio, survival suits and flares on board. Crew members were told to put on their survival gear and personal flotation devices until the Coast Guard arrived.
“Functionality and survivability in cold water is about two hours,” said Mark Averill, a command duty officer at Sector Long Island Sound. “Because of the cold weather and water temperature, it’s important to keep EPIRBs [emergency position indicating radio beacons] and safety equipment in good shape and up-to-date.”
When Coast Guard members arrived, they transferred their pumps onboard and dewatered the compartment.
The Coast Guard said the cause of the flooding remains unknown.