A fishing boat whose home port is Rockland Harbor sank Feb. 21 just eight miles off of southern Maine, after efforts to salvage it were dashed when the vessel listed and slipped to depths of 286 feet.

The fishermen, who were not identified by the U.S. Coast Guard, were rescued by a good Samaritan.

The 81-foot Plan B began taking on water early in the morning. Flooding is attributed to a ruptured pipe, and the men reported that the boat was taking on water too quickly for the pumps to accommodate. They called for help at approximately 7:20 a.m., put on survival suits, and were subsequently rescued by the crew of the Cameran Lee, another fishing boat, the Coast Guard said.

The men were transported to Kennebunkport, and there were no injuries, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Terrell, in Boston.

The Plan B has spent its summers in Rockland Harbor along with its sister vessel Western Sea. The Plan B is owned by Plan B Fishing Corporation, based in Gloucester, Mass. A stern trawler, the Plan B was not actively fishing and there was no catch on board, said Terrell.

The Coast Guard responded from Station Portsmouth Harbor with a rescue boat, as did Station Portland. The Coast Guard cutter Tahoma was sent to the area, as was the Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, according to a Coast Guard press release.

At the time, the wind was blowing 10 to 15 knots, and seas were running at two feet.

While initial plans called for salvaging the boat, by late morning the Coast Guard determined it was not safe to board and dewater, said Terrell. The vessel listed and then sank. Before it sank, crews were able to recover an emergency beacon, life raft and several pieces of large debris.

According to the Coast Guard, a diesel fuel sheen approximately 200-feet by 200-feet was left on the surface of the water. A crew from Station South Portland will monitor the area in the morning, the Coast Guard said.

 

Lynda Clancy can be reached at lclancy@villagesoup.com; 207-236-8511, ext. 304.