Watchstanders from Coast Guard Station Saint Inigoes received notification from members of TowBoat U.S. stating a 55-foot boat named Tara was taking on water and the operator was having difficulty steering the boat.
“We were a half a mile from the boat, and I could see, even being that far away, that the boat had a pretty good list to starboard,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlo Masi, the coxswain who piloted the UTB. “We got alongside, put two lines over and immediately sent petty officers Shelly and Erickson over with the dewatering pump.”
The owners, a man and woman, were transferred to the UTB while salvage efforts continued. Attempts to plug the source of flooding and dewater the boat were unsuccessful.
“I noticed their boat was listing at about 25-degrees when I decided to bring my crew and the pump from the Tara back aboard, and pull away,” said Masi. “It was approximately 20 to 25 minutes, and the boat went underwater.”
“The owners had purchased the boat the day before, and as new boaters they were prepared for the emergency by wearing life jackets, which is very important,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert Erickson. “Other things new boaters can do to be prepared include getting a free boat inspection by the Coast Guard Auxiliary to make sure they have all the proper safety equipment and to take a boater safety course.”
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