Coast Guard Boat Loses Power In Channel, Goes Up Against East Jetty

Jason Graziadei and David Creed •

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Coast Guard Station Brant Point’s 47-foot motor life boat lost power in the channel Wednesday night and drifted up against the rocks of the east jetty at the entrance of Nantucket Harbor for nearly an hour. There were no injuries reported.

The incident occurred just before 8 p.m., and as Coast Guard members assessed the situation, they were asking all vessels to have no wake in the channel. Nantucket Harbormaster Sheila Lucey, along with Sea Tow and charter boat captains Carl Bois and Brian Borgeson, also responded to the scene to assist.

The motor life boat was eventually pulled away from the jetty, and managed to return to Coast Guard Station Brant Point under its own power.

Coast Guard Station Brant Point’s Master Chief Boatswain's Mate Andrew Babione told the Current there was some sort of mechanical problem that caused the incident.
“Not sure of the exact issue but early reports are we had a mechanical issue on the vessel, which caused it to lose propulsion in close proximity to the rock jetty,” Babione said. “Every partner agency in the town responded to the situation. We received great assistance tonight from those who rallied to assist the vessel."

On Thursday, Babione reiterated that it was a mechanical issue, but declined to specify the specific problem with the vessel.

A vessel from Coast Guard Station Chatham was also dispatched to Nantucket to assist, but turned back once the situation was resolved. A Coast Guard helicopter was also briefly circling over the jetty, but it was unclear if it had been sent to aid Station Brant Point's crew, or if it was in the midst of a pre-planned training exercise.

Lucey, the former chief at Station Brant Point, praised the actions of the charter boat captains - Bois of Topsin and Borgeson of the Absolute - who responded to the scene.

"We have some of the best charter boat guys," Lucey said. "Whenever we need them, they stop and drop everything to assist. We didn't know how hard up it was, so we wanted to have people ready. We were setting up pumps in case they were taking on water. Everyone rallied around them."

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