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.