The Block Island Times

Fishermen rescued by Coast Guard after boat capsizes off Block Island

By Dan West | Jan 15, 2012

The Coast Guard pulled two fishermen from the water three miles northeast of Block Island after their 55-foot fishing trawler capsized Saturday evening, January 7. The F/V Elizabeth Helen overturned at approximately 3:55 p.m. Saturday and the Coast Guard was on the scene by 5 p.m.

The Coast Guard was directed to the two uninjured crewmen sitting in a life raft by a red flare. A Coast Guard representative said the boat had been listing to one side and when the crew attempted to haul in their catch, the weight caused the boat to capsize.

The Elizabeth Helen, owned by Steven Arnold of West Kingston, sails out of Point Judith and was fishing for skate. The vessel sank in approximately 130 feet of water and there were about 900 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

The Coast Guard performed a fly over of the site where the ship sank on Sunday and did not observe any pollution.

According to his listing on Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Arnold made a number of technological improvements to the steel-hull vessel since he purchased it in 2002, including installing safety sensors. Those improvements made the rescue easier, according to the Coast Guard. Arnold did not return a call for comment.

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