Saturday, April 19, 2014
CAPE ELIZABETH — Coast Guard crews helped rescue two people who were aboard a sailboat that ran aground just south of Portland Head Light early this morning.
The Coast Guard received a radio call for help around 5:30 a.m. and sent a 47-foot lifeboat to assist the pair aboard the Benchmark, a 47-foot sailboat. Coast Guard officials said the two had been asleep and apparently the boat drifted too close to shore.
The rescue crew began towing the sailboat to Portland and had to use a pump to keep it from sinking, the Coast Guard said.
The sailboat was taken to Gowen Marine in Portland, where it was taken out of the water for repairs. The two men aboard were unhurt.
The Coast Guard said the boat owner was uncertain of his location, but the boat owner's use of a VHF radio allowed them to use a new Rescue 21 system. That system uses the radio signal and radio towers to triangulate the boat's position and allow crews to reach boaters in distress quicker.