BOSTON — Coast Guard rescue crews assisted two people aboard a sailing vessel that ran aground near Portland, Maine, on Saturday.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England command center received a call at 5:13 a.m. from the 47-foot sailing vessel Benchmark, reporting that the vessel ran aground with two people aboard.
A Coast Guard Station South Portland 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew immediately launched to assist. The rescue crew determined the vessel was taking on water and started to pump it out as they towed the boat to Gowen Marine in Portland, Maine.
“In this instance the master’s use of a marine VHF-radio alerted watchstanders of the emergency, allowing us to quickly dispatch resources and provide assistance before the situation went from bad to worse,” said Lt. Nick Barrow, Coast Guard Sector Northern New England command center supervisor.
Coast Guard sector command centers around the nation now use the Rescue 21 system, which allows personnel to use radio towers to triangulate a vessel’s position. The system allows rescue coordinators to quickly launch boat crews to assist mariners in distress.