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Coast Guard assists sinking fishing boat 50 miles east of Cape May

A Coast Guard boat crew prepares to board and assist the crew of the trawler Capt Garland Dec. 18th, 2018, roughly 50 miles east of Cape May, New Jersey. After they began taking on water, the trawler's crew activated their 406 EPIRB and the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson responded, sending over a crew and water pumps to rescue the crew. U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony Michael.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — The Coast Guard assisted three mariners after their ship began taking on water more than 50 miles off Cape May, New Jersey, Monday.

Fifth District command center watch standers in Portsmouth, Virginia, received an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon alert from the 77-foot fishing trawler Capt Garland, but were unable to make contact with the crew after hailing them on VHF radio channel 16, Monday.

Watchstanders diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Lawrence Lawson to respond and assist the crew using the coordinates provided by the EPIRB.

When the crew of the Lawrence Lawson arrived on-scene and made radio contact, the crew of the Capt Garland reported the vessel had taken on approximately three feet of water.

A rescue and response team from the Lawrence Lawson used two P-6 dewatering pumps to assist via small boat.

Once the Coast Guard crew dewatered the vessel and assisted in determining the source of flooding, they escorted the Capt Garland to Cape May, where the crew anchored at midnight and moored safely Tuesday morning.

"A properly-registered EPIRB ensured a rapid Coast Guard response resulting in three lives and thousands of dollars of property saved,” said Lieutenant Catherine Taylor-Pravia, Fifth District command duty officer. “This case is a good reminder to mariners of the importance of maintaining a properly registered EPIRB."

No injuries or pollution was reported.