Greenwich police rescue five off sinking fishing boat

Greenwich police responded to a distress call over the weekend from a sinking boat outside of Port Chester Harbor and rescued five people after a fishing trip gone bad.

According to reports, on Saturday, Aug. 16, at approximately 9:30 p.m. members of the Greenwich Police Department’s Marine Section heard a distress call over VHF channel 16 about a boat that was actively sinking with people aboard. Marine united from the Rye, N.Y., Police Department were already en route to Port Chester Harbor after receiving a 911 call and Greenwich officers went to assist since this was potentially a life-threatning situation.

Greenwich marine officers responded to the area and joined the search farther out from the mouth of Port Chester Harbor. Those officers observed a 26-foot long Bayliner flash its cockpit lights repeatedly, which is a sign of distress. Contact was successfully made with the vessel and it was confirmed that these were the distressed boaters in question. The GPD officers advised police from Rye, Mamaroneck and the Coast Guard that they had located the vessel and began assisting those in danger.

The boat was found directly west of Captains Island, which is in the area of Four Foot Rock. That’s within Greenwich’s waters.

All five passengers on the vessel were observed to be wearing life jackets and police said the stern of the Bayliner was observed sitting “precariously low in the water” with water observed flowing over its transom into the boat. The Greenwich officers were then able to get the passengers off the sinking vessel and onto Greenwich Police Boat 125 while also deploying a gas-operated dewatering pump on to the Bayliner.

Despite that effort, it was too late to keep the vessel from sinking. Police reports state that the vessel began to list to its starboard side and, within moments, the Bayliner completely sank with only an approximate two-foot section of its bow pulpit sticking out of the water. After tying a large white buoy to the Bayliner’s bow pulpit as a mark of its location, the Greenwich officers contacted the Coast Guard, which then issued a warning to all boaters to avoid the area of the sunken vessel.

According to police, it is now the owner’s responsibility to have the vessel salvaged. The owner of the vessel reportedly told police that he had bought the Bayliner two weeks ago and was out fishing with four friends. He added that after about seven hours of fishing they were ready to head back in and that was when he noticed that his bilge was full of water, causing him to contact 911 for help at around 9 p.m.

The owner, who was not publicly identified, allegedly said to police that he did not know why the boat had begun to take on water and that he did not recall having collided with anything.

All five passengers were uninjured and were transported back to their dock slip in the Byram River.


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