Fisherman dies during Coast Guard rescue near Gloucester island

“We’re reminded tonight how dangerous and unforgiving the sea can be.’’

Thacher Island is just east of Gloucester.
Thacher Island is just east of Gloucester. –Google Maps

One fisherman died and two were safely rescued after a fishing boat sank in bad weather about 12 miles off Thacher Island, Gloucester on Thursday, the Coast Guard said.

Around 3 p.m. on Thursday, the Coast Guard was notified that fishing boat Orin C was disabled and in need of towing. A nearby ship began towing the Orin C to shore, but a large wave caused the boat to flood, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard then launched a boat from its Gloucester station, and upon arrival passed a pump to the fishing boat and began towing it back to Gloucester through 30 knot winds and 8-foot seas, according to the Coast Guard.

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However, the Orin C flooded faster than the pump could remove water from the ship. The Coast Guard broke the tow line and went back to rescue each fisherman one at a time, officials said.

After the first man was rescued, the two other fishermen had to abandon their rapidly sinking ship. One of those two remaining fishermen was unresponsive when reached by Coast Guard officials.

Despite more than an hour of CPR, the man was pronounced dead when they arrived in Gloucester. The two others were unhurt.

“We’re reminded tonight how dangerous and unforgiving the sea can be,’’ Chief Petty Officer Stephen Veda, the command duty officer at Coast Guard Sector Boston, said in a statement. “This is a tragic end to a very harrowing case – the effects of which will be felt throughout the entire maritime community for some time.’’

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