Current Nantucket | ‘Heroic’ rescue off Nantucket: Brant Station…
With seas still rough from a coastal storm that battered the East Coast this week, a crew from Coast Guard Station Brant Point on Tuesday rescued a disabled fishing vessel southwest of Nantucket amid 15-foot waves and dangerous shoals.
The call came in at about 9:30 a.m. The 65-foot fishing vessel “Two Dukes” lost all steering and ran aground in waters southwest of Nantucket, near Tuckernock Island, with four crew members and one dog aboard. To make matters worse, the captain was injured after a window exploded in the rough seas, resulting in lacerations to his face.
A four-man crew from Brant Point Station equipped themselves and set out to participate in the rescue aboard the 47-foot lifeboat. After a long crossing into the waters southwest of the island, the crew located the crippled fishing vessel when a Coast Guard helicopter lifted two people from the boat, leaving behind the captain and one crew member.
“Because the boat was dead in the water and stuck between several shoals, it was the biggest sea state I’ve seen in my four years here, and certainly the most aggressive I’ve ever been in as a newly certified heavy weather skipper,” Station Brant said. Point BM2 Chad Austin. “My crew made it very easy for me as the boat driver. We trusted our training and everything ended as smoothly as possible.”
With Austin on the rescue mission were MK2 Garrett Almstrom of Station Brant Point, SN Alan Michonski, and FN Zach Rissman. After securing a line to Two Dukes, the crew from the Brant Point station began towing the larger 65-foot trawler north toward Martha’s Vineyard. They towed the boat across Cape Poge, the northeast point of the Vineyard, before transferring the operation to another Coast Guard crew from Woods Hole Station.
Brant Point Station Master Chief Lance Weiser praised his crew for completing the rescue in difficult conditions, noting that they had just practiced in heavy surf the day before when the waves were even larger in 60 mph wind gusts.
“There are still difficult conditions on the south side of the island. We were out in the worst of the storm yesterday to train and prepare for such situations,” Weiser said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this crew. First ever severe weather SAR of the winter. Sea height is fifteen to twenty feet, shallow water everywhere. The fisherman was very grateful.”
Nantucket Harbor Master Sheila Lucey, a former chief at Brant Point, was monitoring the rescue from the island and praised the crew’s performance given the conditions at sea.
“A very heroic act,” Lucey said of the rescue. “The conditions were horrific and their performance was flawless… We haven’t had a situation like this in years. The training under the current command at the station has paid off. They are there every time the weather gets severe and rescue the crew.” “They have been the beneficiaries of their hard work and dedication. We are very fortunate to have them all and the people on the water around Nantucket should be grateful to them.”
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