2 vessels in distress


A vessel that was making its way back to Saipan from Rota over the weekend nearly sunk off the coast of Tinian before being towed to Tinian by Boating Safety of the Department of Public Safety.

According to a Department of Public Safety report, DPS Dispatch received a call on Friday, Sept. 21, at about 4:35am, from a distressed vessel west of Tinian. The operator of the vessel, Bottoms Up, reported he was heading back to Saipan from Rota when the boat started taking in water.

According to the vessel’s operator, he made contact with a passing sailboat, which tried to tow the vessel to safety. The sailboat soon experienced engine problems and mast problems and could no longer assist the distressed vessel.

Boating Safety launched a rescue boat and headed toward the last known coordinates of Bottoms Up at 6:37am.

At 8:21am, Boating Safety made contact with the sailboat first and confirmed that their engine was operational.

At 9:23am, the rescue boat made contact with Bottoms Up and began towing the vessel to Tinian.

At 11:48am, Boating Safety arrived on Tinian and all passengers aboard Bottoms Up were reported safe and had no injuries. The report did not indicate how many people were on Bottoms Up.

Last week Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, at approximately 3:53am, DPS Dispatch also responded to a vessel that sunk beyond the reef of Micro Beach.  The boat did not sink to the bottom but had taken on water and was level with the water.

According to the vessel’s operator, a 59-year-old male, he and a 42-year-old male crewmember launched the boat from Garapan Fishing Base. Shortly after launching, a large wave hit the boat and it began to take on water. The operator said the boat had an electrical problem and the bilge pump was not working, which caused the vessel to sink. 

The two men swam to a preposition ship and held on to a chain until they were rescued by ship’s crew. 

At 7:44am, Boating Safety’s rescue boat found the sunken vessel and towed it back to Smiling Cove Marina.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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