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Coast Guard escorting leaking fishing vessel to New Bedford

An 80-foot New Bedford fishing boat with a five-man crew is steaming back to its home port this morning after staving off a leak Wednesday night with the help of three pumps dropped off by the Coast Guard, a Coast Guard spokesman said.

The Megan-Marie issued a distress call at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, saying it was taking on water. The boat’s position was 100 miles southeast of Nantucket, said spokesman Adam Stanton.

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The Coast Guard launched a helicopter, two airplanes, and two cutters. The planes and the helicopter arrived at the scene at about 7 p.m. The planes dropped off three pumps, said Stanton.

With the help of the pumps, the boat’s crew was able to stem the rush of water and locate the source of the leak, which is in the engine block and this impossible to repair at sea.

The boat is now heading back to New Bedford, escorted by the cutter Seneca, which will also be joined by the cutter Flying Fish, Stanton said. At last report, the boat was 84 miles offshore, Statnton said this morning.

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