Sailboat Runs Aground On Coatue After Engine Fire

Jason Graziadei •

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The 38-foot sailboat Phebe owned by Nantucket historian and best-selling author Nat Philbrick ran aground on Coatue Sunday morning after a small engine fire, prompting a response by Nantucket Harbormaster Sheila Lucey and Coast Guard Station Brant Point.

There were no injuries reported. Philbrick was aboard the boat with his wife Melissa and their dog.

“We had an engine fire aboard Phebe this morning while motoring back to our mooring from Head of the Harbor,” Philbrick told the Current. “We were able to snuff it out with a fire extinguisher. The Coast Guard responded promptly and Rich at SeaTow towed us back to the mooring. Melissa and I are thankful to all involved. True professionals!“

The 38-foot centerboard yawl grounded in the bend just west of Bass Point. It was towed off by Sea Tow.

Coast Guard Station Brant Point responded in its 24-foot shallow water special response boat, according to Petty Officer Chad Austin.

"Initially it was a report of a fire on a 38-foot sailboat off Bass Point near the Head of the Harbor," Austin said. "We later got information that it was aground. We arrived on scene and made sure there was no fire and there were no medical emergencies. We called Sea Tow for him and they got him off pretty easily."

Austin said Philbrick told him that after the engine fire was extinguished, they had drifted and there wasn't time to get the sails up before it grounded. The winds were 15 to 20 knots out of the west and it was "pretty choppy" in the harbor, Austin said.

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