The Dec. 18 incident occurred around 2:30 p.m., when officials at the Coast Guard station in Montauk received notification that the commercial fishing boat, the Caitlan Mairead, began taking on water about 26 miles from the Montauk Point shoreline.
Officials said the four crew members aboard the 26-foot vessel initially turned on a dewatering pump and were able to keep up with the flooding for almost three hours. The crew was checking in every 30 minutes with the Coast Guard, as they tried to navigate back to Montauk.
Around 5:30 p.m., the crew notified Coast Guard rescuers that they were unable to keep up with the flooding in the engine compartment, which caused the boat to lose power. In a news release, the federal agency said the cause of the flooding still remains unknown.
Rescue crews were able to successfully remove water from the compartment.
“Functionality and survivability in cold water is about two hours,” said Mark Averill, a Command Duty Officer at the Coast Guard’s Sector Long Island Sound. “Because of the cold weather and water temperature, it’s important to keep [emergency position-indication radios] and safety equipment in good shape and up-to-date.”
Coast Guard officials said the crew had life rafts, emergency indicator radios, survival suits and flares on board.