Coast Guard Rescues Two Sailors Off Provincetown

This story serves as an important reminder in keeping up to date on the latest weather via radio.

Two Canadian sailors are safe after receiving report of the upcoming dangerous winter storm from a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew and getting a tow to Provincetown, Mass., from a Coast Guard boat crew on Sunday.

Sailors aboard the 37-foot Rodeo were 150 miles east of Provincetown on Friday, when an HU-25 Falcon jet crew from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod was performing offshore storm track weather warnings and was contacted by the sailors.

“They called us just before we made our last broadcast and headed back to Cape Cod,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Spencer Vince, a crewman aboard the Falcon who was making the broadcasts. “They didn’t seem to know there was a storm coming so we told them what the scenario was. They took the warning seriously.”

The sailors were on their way from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Long Island, N.Y., but headed toward Cape Cod after hearing the Coast Guard’s weather warning.

At 12:37 a.m., Sunday the sailors called the Coast Guard again reporting their engine was failing and they would need a tow into port. The engine did fail, leaving the sailors in 12 to 15-foot seas with occasional 20-foot swells and no power more than seven miles south of Provincetown Harbor.

An urgent marine broadcast was issued, but due to severe weather conditions, commercial towboat companies were unable to tow the Rodeo.

A 47-foot Motor Lifeboat crew from Coast Guard Station Provincetown was dispatched to tow the Rodeo into port and arrived on scene around 1:35 a.m.

In addition to the 12 to 15-foot seas, the crews also faced 40 to 50-knot winds that gusted up to 60 knots with only 20 feet of visibility.

At around 5:13 a.m., the crews were in Provincetown Harbor and tried to anchor the sailboat and remove the two people aboard. However, the anchor wasn’t holding and with the weather, it was too dangerous to remove the sailors from the Rodeo.

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