Fishing boat collides with gas tanker off Vineyard

The fishing vessel Edna May, which collided with a tanker. - Courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Station Menemsha responded to a collision between a tanker and a fishing boat Monday night, roughly 27 miles off the Vineyard. A mayday came into Sector Southeastern New England at 8:10 pm, according to Petty Officer Ryan Noel. Soon after, a Jayhawk helicopter was dispatched from Air Station Cape Cod. A motor lifeboat departed the Station Menemsha boathouse at 8:30 pm, Senior Chief Justin Longval, commander of Station Menemsha, said. The motor lifeboat arrived on scene at 10 pm, where it found the 605-foot gasoline tanker Iver Prosperity and the 70-foot fishing vessel Edna May. Longval said the fishing boat appeared to have hit the tanker. Damage to the Edna May was “cosmetic,” according to Noel. The Iver Prosperity had two punctures on its starboard quarter “about three to five feet above the waterline,” Noel said. 

Had the tanker struck the fishing vessel, Longval said, there would have likely been “a tremendously different outcome.”

Noel said the Iver Prosperity, which is registered in the Marshall Islands, was en route from St. John’s, Nfld., to Providence, R.I., when the incident occurred. The Edna May “didn’t have any catch onboard,” Longval said. “They hadn’t started fishing yet. They were on their way out.” 

The Edna May, which is homeported in Tiverton, R.I., was escorted to the mouth of the Sakonnet River by the Station Menemsha crew, Longval said. There the motor lifeboat crew handed off the vessel to the cutter Coho, Lonval said. 

The Iver Prosperity was “directed to go to anchor,” Longval said. As of 10 am Wednesday morning, it remained at anchor, Noel said.

No injuries were reported, Noel noted, and the collision remains under investigation.