Coast Guard reaches stranded Montauk fishing vessel

The Endorphin, a 58-foot commercial fishing vessel, is The Endorphin, a 58-foot commercial fishing vessel, is moored at a pier in Montauk. (July 6, 2006) Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

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The U.S. Coast Guard on Friday came to the aid of a commercial fishing vessel from Montauk that had reported being "adrift and without power" with three crew members on board.

The 58-foot Endorphin was located around 86 miles southeast of Montauk, the Coast Guard said.

A "good Samaritan" vessel alerted the Coast Guard to the plight of the Endorphin, whose crew indicated they had been out to sea for eight days, had run out of food and had no way to communicate, officials said.

A Coast Guard aircrew dropped supplies, including food, water and a handheld radio. The Boston-based cutter Tahoma was sent to the location to tow the disabled vessel, the Coast Guard said.

By 9:30 p.m. Friday, the Tahoma had reached the stranded vessel, and Sector Long Island Sound spokesman Lt. Jeff Janaro said the tow operation was expected to get underway around midnight. All three crew members were still on the boat, and had been using their limited power to run an emergency heater, Janaro said.

Because the fishing vessel was stranded about 80 miles south of the nearest point of land, Janaro said by email, "the best case for the tow is approximately 14 hours" to get back to Montauk.

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Seas at the location where the boat was stranded were reported Friday afternoon to be 8 to 13 feet, with 35 knot winds, and a sea temperature of 32 degrees.

"The harsh weather the vessel is experiencing, along with the forecasted weather for the weekend, always adds a level of risk to any rescue operation," said Capt. Edward Cubanski, commanding officer of Sector Long Island Sound. "We're going to make every effort to get these mariners home safely."

The good Samaritan vessel, unable to tow the Endorphin because of weather conditions, had facilitated communications between the Coast Guard and disabled vessel, the Coast Guard said.

With Candice Ruud

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