Three men were rescued from 37-degree waters by a Boston Harbor Pilot Association boat minutes after their 55’ 800-hp tugboat Emily Anne suffered a hull breach and sank in Boston Harbor, according to the Coast Guard.
#BostonPilots boat rescues 3 crew members of sunken tugboat from frigid waters of North Channel. #wbz #wbznews pic.twitter.com/zNsOZZdk8k
— Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) February 16, 2016
The tug owned by North Shore Marine Inc., Salem, Mass., was about five miles east of Deer Island when captain Don Richmond broadcast a mayday picked up by watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Boston. As a 47’ motor lifeboat and an MH-60 helicopter were being dispatched, captain Joseph F. Maloney Jr. on the pilot boat Chelsea heard his friend Richmond’s voice on the VHF radio.
“It was the right place, the right time,” Maloney told the Boston Herald. Steering toward the location, Maloney was close enough to see the Emily Anne as it went down, and came in closer to find the crew bobbing in their flotation with a life raft ready.
Despite exposure to the elements, all three rescued crewmembers were reported to be in good health.
“Given the nature of the emergency, if not for the quick and heroic response of the Chelsea crew, their lives may have been lost,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Darin Crozier, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Boston.
JUST IN: Photo of the life raft used to save 3 men on sinking tug boat (https://t.co/N3OmwFuyfU) pic.twitter.com/D4ZNcJSM5B
— FOX25 News Boston (@fox25news) February 16, 2016
The Coast Guard established a safety zone encompassing part of the North Channel that prohibits transit of deep draft vessels. Vessel traffic will be restricted until channel surveys are complete and confirm the channel is clear of obstruction after divers discovered the Emily Anne may be broken apart. The South Channel remains open for vessels that may safely navigate it.