Heavy seas swamp fishermen off Gardiners Island

The Robert James was taking on water fast in Gardiners Bay this afternoon | U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent Walsh.
The Robert James was taking on water fast in Gardiners Bay this afternoon | U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Brent Walsh.

Though heavy rains and tornadoes never materialized on the East End Monday, as heavy winds whipped up the water and a band of squalls moved offshore across Long Island, three fishermen based in Groton, Conn. were rescued by the Coast Guard as their boat was swamped and began to sink off Gardiners Island mid-afternoon.

A Coast Guard watch station in New Haven, Conn. received a distress call from the 41-foot commercial fishing boat Robert James just before 4 p.m. Monday and dispatched a 47-foot motor life boat rescue crew from the Coast Guard station in Montauk, which arrived as the fishermen were clinging to the bow of their boat as it began to sink under the waves.

“Our boatcrew responded quickly to the request for assistance, transferring the three fishermen onto our boat,” said Petty Officer 2 Class Brent Walsh, the motor life boat operator from Coast Guard Station Montauk. “Once the fishermen were safely on board and not in need of medical attention, we determined it unsafe to transfer our boatcrew over to dewater the partially submerged vessel due to hazardous sea conditions.”

Winds off Gardiners Island were blowing at 20 to 25 knots and seas were three feet at the time of the rescue.

On land, the day of wind-whipped coastline here petered out into a quiet evening by the time the National Weather Service’s storm warnings expired at 10 p.m., as a high pressure system is expected to build into Tuesday.

 

Beth Young

Beth Young has been covering the East End since the 1990s. In her spare time, she runs around the block, tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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