PORTLAND, Maine — Two fishermen were rescued by U.S. Coast Guard officials Wednesday night after their 40-foot fishing vessel caught fire about six miles from Jeffreys Ledge, a fishing area that runs from Rockport, Massachusetts, to just southeast of Cape Elizabeth.
A crewmember aboard the Portland-based Gretchen Marie contacted the Coast Guard station in South Portland around 7:40 p.m. Wednesday to report a fire onboard and heavy smoke in the pilothouse, according to a news release from the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard launched a 47-foot motorized lifeboat from its South Portland station, while a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter headed for the area from Air Station Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
When the lifeboat arrived, the crew of the Gretchen Marie had already extinguished the fire, and the two fishermen were evacuated.
The MH-60 flew back to Cape Cod and the South Portland boat towed the Gretchen Marie to just outside Portland Harbor, where it was anchored by about 11:20 p.m.
“The Gretchen Marie crew handled the emergency flawlessly, the crew had the proper safety equipment onboard, quickly responded to the fire, and notified the Coast Guard of the emergency,” Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Kurt Hein said in the news release. “The fishermen and Coast Guard crews exhibited great team work and professionalism, ensuring the safety of the crewmembers.”