Two fishermen are missing after boat capsizes off Block Island, R.I.

The Coast Guard and a good Samaritan were searching Tuesday for two missing fishermen after their boat capsized early New Year’s Day off Block Island, Rhode Island, officials said.

The captain of the Mistress issued a mayday call at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday to say the fishing boat was taking on water near Block Island Wind Farm, which is nearly 4 miles from shore, the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The Captain Blight, a boat that was in the area, arrived first to the distressed vessel. One man was rescued, but two others were reported missing, the Coast Guard said in a statement.


As of late Tuesday afternoon, crews had covered approximately 375 square nautical miles from the vessel’s last known location but had not found the fishermen, said Captain Andrew Barresi, a Coast Guard spokesman in Boston.

The Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba arrived on the scene in the afternoon, relieving the cutter Sanibel, he said. Two response boats, 45 feet and 47 feet long, were launched from Station Point Judith in Rhode Island to help search, he said.

The overnight search was hampered by intense weather conditions that included winds of 40 miles per hour, officials said.

A Coast Guard helicopter launched from Air Station Cape Cod, nearly 70 miles away, was forced to turn back because of low visibility and safety concerns, the statement said.

A 45-foot rescue boat launched from Station Point Judith was also forced to turn back because of rough seas that reached 10 feet high.

The Mistress is usually docked at Point Judith, R.I., less than 15 miles north of Block Island, officials said.