U.S. Coast Guard crews from Station South Portland, Maine
, and Air Station Cape Cod responded
to a report of a fishing boat fire Wednesday, about six miles from Jeffreys Ledge, a fishing area which stretches from the coast of Rockport to just southeast of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
A crewmember aboard the 40-foot fishing boat Gretchen Marie contacted watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England at about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday reporting a fire onboard and heavy smoke in Gretchen Marie's pilothouse. Two men were aboard the vessel.
Station South Portland launched a 47-foot Motor Life Boat, which arrived on scene and removed the two unharmed fishermen. A MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod was dispatched for support. The Gretchen Marie crew had put out the engine fire with their onboard fire-fighting equipment. After the scene was secured, the MH-60 departed the area and Station South Portland placed the vessel in tow. By approximately 11:20 p.m., the Gretchen Marie anchored just outside its homeport in Portland, where a Portland Fire Boat assessed the vessel.
"The Gretchen Marie crew handled the emergency flawlessly, the crew had the proper safety equipment onboard
, quickly responded to the fire, and notified the Coast Guard of the emergency," said Petty Officer 1st Class Kurt Hein, a watchstander at the Sector Northern New England command center. “The fishermen and Coast Guard crews exhibited great team work and professionalism, ensuring the safety of the crewmembers.”