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  1. A Movie Crew... Pete Andrews 02-Jul-2011
  2. Finish Line at First Light Pete Andrews 29-Jun-2011
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My Jobs 2009

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My Jobs in 2008

Other Towboat Blogs


In the Wheelhouse

The (usually) not-so-thrilling adventures of a Safe/Sea Rescue Boat Captain.

Kinda Big to be OOF

Pete Andrews - Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I've decided to just pick out a couple of jobs for posting from last week to complete my catch-up since the 4th. This is one from July 7, a 53' motoryacht that was OOF (out of fuel) off Weekapaug, 10 nautical miles west of Point Judith. It was a little sloppy with about about a 2-4 foot confused seaway; just enough to be annoying. The view on-scene is below.

Of course it was another of our famous (at least this year anyway) "unsettled" weather days, and this lovely line of boomers was bearing down on us (I was at the tip of the white arrow). Severe weather warnings were posted for possible "winds in excess of 40mph," so I buttoned up and prepared to ride out a potentially nasty few minutes. However, by the time the line reached us, it had dissipated a bit and just brought a bunch of rain.

The rest of the job proceeded without incident, and below is the casualty on a short leash inside Point Judith Pond, headed for the fuel dock.

Memorial Day Weekend Wrap-up

Pete Andrews - Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend, the "official" start of summer (in my mind, anyway) has come and gone, and, if it's any indication of how the rest of the season is going to go, we're in for a busy one. Everyone got into the act this weekend, even Capt. Doug out at Block Island, which is usually pretty quiet this early in the season. Be sure to check out Doug's blog, which features a daily photo from the island all summer long!

Anyway, let's get to the tow jobs. Sunday didn't really get going until the late afternoon and evening, and I am the early boat on Sundays, so I only did one job that day. It was a 24 foot Four Winns that you can see me shortening up at right as we head into the Warwick Cove entrance channel.

I was early boat again on Monday, and again, the action didn't start until nearly noontime. We were all hanging around on the dock checking equipment when a "Mayday" call came across the radio. It was readily apparent that the skipper issuing the distress call had a serious issue, so Capt. Phil jumped aboard with me on the Safe/Sea Newport and we headed out to Gould Island as quickly as we could.

In the meantime, we learned that the vessel in distress was a 24 foot Bayliner that had a fire aboard. According to the skipper, there was a lot of black smoke coming from the engine room, but no visible flame. As we were in transit, the smoke started to dissipate, and both Capt. Phil and I expected to find an overheated engine and a melted hose or two.

Capt. Phil and I arrived on scene first, and I put him aboard the casualty immediately to assess the situation. When we arrived, there was no smoke, no flame, and the vessel was floating on her lines. The couple aboard was a little rattled, but very much in control. A quick peek into the engine room confirmed what we had expected; the engine got too hot and an exhaust hose partially melted, producing a great deal of nasty smelling smoke.

The customer was a member, so we starting rigging to tow them back into NETC just when the DEM boat and USCG 41 footer were arriving. Once we told them the situation, we were on our way to NETC with the Bayliner in tow. The second picture is taken at the ramp dock in the NETC marina right after Capt. Phil had signed off on the job and we were about to head home.

Kudos to the captain of the Bayliner, who did the right thing by issuing a coherent Mayday, keeping his cool, and not panicking.

60 Reynolds Street
Wickford, RI 02852
24 Hour Dispatch: 401-295-8711