Coast Guard responds to mayday call south of Martha’s Vineyard

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Coast Guard crews, including a boat from Station Menemsha, responded to a mayday call from a 47-foot fishing vessel 30 miles south of Martha’s Vineyard on Monday evening. The caller, Pilgrim, was escorted to safety after a broken mast left it disabled.

According to a press release from the First Coast Guard District, Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector Southeastern New England were notified of the situation via marine radio by Pilgrim’s captain around 4:30 p.m on Monday.

A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod launched and located the vessel. The helicopter crew remained on scene until Coast Guard Cutter Albacore arrived to take over.

The Albacore stayed with Pilgrim until Pilgrim’s sister ship, Shamrock, arrived Tuesday morning and helped the Pilgrim crew make repairs at sea.

The Station Menemsha boat was manned by Boatswain’s Mate Adam Smith, Machinery Technicians Joshua Hughes and Adam Struyk, and Seaman Gabe Villano.

Station Menemsha Senior Chief Rob Riemer told the Times in an email that the crew “spent about three and a half hours underway round-trip in 4- to 6-foot seas on a cold December night.” Chief Riemer said he was “real proud … they did a good job, not heavy weather, but still a timely response.”