Three fishermen were rescued off Nantucket Saturday afternoon when their 55-foot vessel sank approximately eight miles east of the island.
Coast Guard Station Brant Point along with a Coast Guard helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod responded to the area around 1:45 p.m. and found that the 55-foot fishing vessel - the Miss Kara out of Hyannis - had already sunk and its crew was in the water clinging to a crab pot.
“It was completely gone when we arrived on-scene,” Coast Guard Station Brant Point BM2 Chad Austin told the Current.
Austin said that the responding Coast Guard crews determined the safest option was to drop the basket from the MH-60 helicopter and deploy a rescue swimmer to get the three fishermen onto the aircraft, rather than take them aboard Station Brant Point's 47-foot motor life boat. The three men were taken to Hyannis for medical care.
It has not yet been determined why the commercial fishing vessel sank in the waters off Nantucket. Austin said the Coast Guard was alerted to the situation when one member of the Miss Kara crew set off an EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon), which provided the rescue crew with their location.
Austin added that the crew from Station Brant Point recovered a few of the Miss Kara's fenders, which they believe the fishermen had also been clinging to in the water while the rescue crews headed for the scene. The helicopter team later dropped an inflatable to the fishermen for them to hang on to until they could be hoisted up into the aircraft.