A Coast Guard vessel bobbed nearby and a rescue helicopter hovered. But in the end, three crew members aboard a stranded scallop boat near a jetty on the East Dennis coastline were able to walk to safety in the choppy but shallow surf.
The rescue on Sunday night occurred after the 48-foot Ruth & Gail lost engine and steering power off Sesuit Harbor, Strong winds and waves had pushed the vessel toward the jetty, which juts out about 300 feet from the beach, said Dennis Deputy Fire Chief Robert Tucker.
"It was really rotten out there near the jetty,'' Tucker said.
The Coast Guard arrived with a vessel in an attempt to rescue the crew members, but the water was too shallow, Tucker said. The boat was 15 to 25 feet away from the jetty when a Coast Guard helicopter was summoned.
The helicopter arrived around 8 p.m., but it could not lower the helicopter rescue basket because the helicopter's lines could have tangled with the boat's rigging. The surf made it difficult for other boats to aid in the rescue, authorities said.
Since it was low tide, rescue personnel walked out to the boat, equipped crew members with survival suits, and walked them 75 to 100 feet to shore, Tucker said.
The crew members were rescued by 9 p.m., Tucker said. No estimate for damage was immediately available, though waves filled the boat with water after the rescue. The boat is being pumped and is expected to be removed on Tuesday.
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more