Coast Guard vessel tows urchin diver boat to safety near Lubec

Posted Dec. 22, 2011, at 6:07 p.m.

LUBEC, Maine — Two urchin divers whose 24-foot boat lost power in shallow and rocky waters off Quoddy Head State Park were towed to safety Thursday morning by a U.S. Coast Guard utility boat based in Eastport.

The skipper of Miss Britt, which is owned by Daniel Sprague and home-ported in Lubec, called for help from his position near Carrying Point Cove at 10:47 a.m. The Coast Guard was on the scene within 10 minutes with a 41-foot utility boat and safely towed the disabled vessel to a boat ramp in Lubec. There were no injuries or damage.

Petty Officer Ryan Coon said the Miss Britt was drifting toward the shallows in 2- to 3-foot seas when he and his crew mates arrived.

“It appeared the problem was electrical,” Coon said. “Either a battery or an alternator problem. We went after them because there was no one else out there to help them out.”

Normally when a boat loses power, the Coast Guard issues a marine assistance broadcast to ask other mariners in the area to assist if possible.

“However, with this case, we chose to launch immediately instead of issuing the broadcast because they were close to some hazardous water, which could have made a bad situation worse,” said Paul Painter, search and rescue controller at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England.

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