First responders rescue three from Gloucester harbor — on foot

US Coast Guard

The crew of a 44-foot lobster boat that ran aground in Gloucester early Thursday were rescued by first responders — who walked through shallow water to guide the three men to safety, the Coast Guard said.

The vessel ran aground around 4:30 a.m. near the Dog Bar breakwater about 150 yards east of the Eastern Point lighthouse in the North Shore city, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Nicole Groll said. The ship’s owner and crew donned survival suits and made a mayday call given the water temperature of 53 degrees and air temperature of just 26 degrees, she said.

The Coast Guard sent a boat to survey the situation, but the actual rescue was performed on foot by first responders from the Coast Guard and Gloucester public safety agencies, Groll said.


“It was so shallow that everybody was able to get out there with their vehicles and walk out there and then guide the guys back,” to shore, Groll said.

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A team of 11 Gloucester firefighters arrived on the scene before the Coast Guard, acting Gloucester Fire Captain Robert Rivas said, and the boat was stuck on a rock on shore when the rescue team found it.

The crew was unharmed but waiting for assistance to get off the vessel, Rivas said.

“When we got there, the boat was already on the rocks, so it was just a matter of assisting the personnel off the boat,” he said.

Once off the boat, the crew was examined by EMS personnel and found to be in good shape, Groll said.


They were brought to a Coast Guard station to be warmed up, Rivas said.

The boat dispelled about 5 gallons of fuel from a vent before crews could plug the leak, Gloucester Fire Chief Eric Smith said in a statement.

It was still on the rocks as of 7:55 a.m. and was expected to stay there until high tide arrived around 2 p.m., when salvagers hired by the owner would arrive and remove it, Groll said.

John R. Ellement can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe. Alyssa Meyers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.