Tuesday, February 13, 2007

USCG Scuttles Fishing Vessel Off Cape Cod

A story in today's South Coast Today.com reports that the USCG Cutter Cambell used her .50 cal to sink a boat that they tried and failed to tow a few days ago.

NEW BEDFORD — The Coast Guard sank the New Bedford fishing vessel Creole Belle after salvage efforts to save the 74-foot scalloper failed. Yesterday, the Creole Belle's captain — one of three crewmembers rescued from the crippled boat by the Coast Guard on Thursday — blamed the Coast Guard for the loss of his vessel. The Coast Guard said the Creole Belle posed a serious threat to other vessels after its main propulsion engine went out and it was adrift on the open seas and taking on water.

The captain of this boat is quoted in the article, and he isn't happy with the results of the Coast Guard's efforts to rescue the crew and boat:
Kevin J. Mello of New Bedford, the vessel's 40-year-old captain, said the sinking could have been avoided had the rescue been conducted differently. He was critical of the decision-making by the Campbell, which said the only way it could attach a tow line was if the Creole Belle detached from its anchor.

This same Coast Guard district continues to have run-ins with the fishing fleet out of New Bedford, Mass. It looks like the have stepped in **it again...

UPDATE: Further inquiry leads me to believe that the Creole Belle was in a questionable state of repair and maybe not even insured; not an unrealistic statement about a commercial fishing boat. Perhaps the Coast Guard did the best they could with the hand they were dealt. Remember that this link to a newspaper article is only one side of the story