by Newport Buzz Staff
Coast Guard emergency crews from Stations Merrimack River and Gloucester, along with Ipswich and Gloucester Fire Departments, responded to a burning 28-foot lobster boat Friday.
At about 9:30 a.m. the operator of the lobster boat Dawn Breaker hailed watchstanders at the Sector Boston Command Center stating his boat was on fire and he was abandoning ship.
The man said he tried to fight the fire with a portable fire extinguisher but could not keep up with the flames. After donning his immersion suit and giving his exact location from his portable VHF radio, he jumped from the burning boat into the water. The man took his personal locator beacon with him and was picked up by a good Samaritan in less than 15 minutes.
Station Gloucester, Station Merrimack River, and the Ipswich Fire Department arrived on scene to recover the man from the good Samaritan’s boat and fight the blaze. The man was safely picked up by the Ipswitch fire department and taken to shore where was evaluated by EMTs.
“This is the mark of a true professional mariner,” said Petty officer 1st Class Darin Crozier, a watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Boston’s command center. “He was prepared and did everything right — he donned his immersion suit, communicated his location clearly with his radio, and abandoned ship with his locator beacon.”
On average the 1st Coast Guard District responds to 2,500 search and rescue cases annually.