Coast Guard hoists four fishermen from stormy seas in offshore rescue
BOSTON — Early Wednesday morning, Nov. 14, members of the Coast Guard, who are stationed on Cape Cod, flew to the rescue of four fishermen whose vessel was floundering approximately 60 miles from the mainland, near Jeffrey’s Bank, in the Gulf of Maine.
The boat, the 76-foot Aaron & Melissa II, home-ported in Westbrook, began taking on water in 20-foot seas. The winds were blowing fiercely on Nov. 14, 30 knots with higher gusts, and the captain of the Aaron & Melissa II had radioed for help at approximately 7:45 a.m.
In cold water survivor suits, they abandoned the boat, which was taking on water, as the rescue helicopter and a plane sped Northeast from Cape Cod.
An HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter aircrews launched from Air Station Cape Cod and located the raft and fishermen.
A rescue swimmer, Petty Officer Second Class Mike Kelly, deployed from the helicopter and hoisted the four fishermen, one at a time, to the helicopter.
The aircrew landed at Brunswick Executive Airport in Brunswick, where they were met by emergency medical service personnel and transported to Mid Coast Hospital.
The fishermen were reported to be in good condition.
The weather was reported to have 20-foot seas, 30-knot winds, and the water temperature 50 degrees.
While the sinking of the boat, where depths range to 600 feet, remains under investigation, the Coast Guard declined to comment on the cause.