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Coast Guard search for two missing Port of Galilee Fishermen

The commercial fishing fleet in port at Point Judith, September 4, 2016. Photo Tracey C. O’Neill

Narragansett, RI – The New Year arrived with ill tidings for the fishing family and fleet of the Port of Galilee Point Judith, after reports of the capsize of the fishing vessel (F/V) the Mistress off of #BlockIsland early this morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard Northeast reported the captain of the 16 meter fishing vessel issued a should  call at approximately 1:30 a.m. while taking on water near the Block Island Wind Farm.

The Captain Bligh, a fishing vessel also of the Port of Galilee, was nearby and arrived on the scene first. Crew of the Captain Bligh was able to rescue one of the Mistress’ fishermen. The Mistress was reported capsized and two crew members missing.

According to the report, Coast Guard rescue efforts were thwarted by unsafe conditions with local response teams from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod and Station Point Judith being forced back to port.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod arrived on scene and began searching but encountered low visibility and unsafe weather conditions and was forced to return to base.

A 45-foot response boat from Station Point Judith also launched but was forced to turn around due to weather.

The 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Sanibel and a 47-foot Motor Lifeboat from Coast Guard Station Montauk were dispatched to the scene.

The Captain Bligh and crew remained searching overnight.

The winds were reported to be 30 to 35 knots and the seas 10 feet.

The Mistress, owned and operated by Hope Fisheries, Inc. of South Kingstown is a wooden hull commercial fishing vessel built in 1984 by Lash Brothers Boat Yard of Friendship, Maine. It originally operated as the Anna Lena IV, ported at Clyde, Maine

The latest update from the Coast Guard reported, USCG Cutter Sanibel Woods Hole, an Air Station CapeCod Jayhawk helicopter, a Station Point Judith response boat, & Station Menemsha motor lifeboat on scene.

Two local good samaritan vessels were also reported searching.

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) issued a gale warning for the area currently in effect through 7 p.m. this evening. Seas of 8 -9 feet are expected.

5:40 p.m. Update: Two Port of Galilee Fishermen Missing at Sea

As dusk set in at the Port of Galilee Point Judith on New Year’s Day, the U.S. Coast Guard continued to search for two local fishermen missing after the fishing vessel, the Mistress capsized and sank in the waters of Block Island Sound overnight.

Social media posts and reports show friends and family holding out hope for news of the vessel’s owner, Oscar Diaz of South Kingstown and his nephew, John Ansay.

Diaz’s son was rescued by local fishermen on the Captain Bligh who were close by when the mayday call went out at 1:30 a.m.

The crew of the Captain Bligh, also of Point Judith, aided in the search overnight and throughout the day on Monday, hoping to find the Mistress’ missing crew members.

12:00 a.m. Update: Coast Guard Crews to Continue Search for Missing Fishermen

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that it will continue to search for two local fishermen who were lost when their fishing boat capsized and sunk in the waters of Block Island Sound early Monday morning.

Coast Guard Cutter Escanaba and Steelhead are expected to stay on scene through the night.

The fishing vessel, the Mistress, of the Port of Galilee Point Judith began taking on water while fishing near the Block Island Wind Farm. The captain and owner, Oscar Diaz issued a Mayday call at 1:30 a.m.

According to the latest report, the watchstanders of Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England issued an urgent marine information broadcast to vessels in the area to request assistance for the crew of the Mistress.

The fishing boat Captain Bligh, also out of Point Judith, responded and rescued one crew member from a life boat.

Two crew members remained missing after Coast Guard search teams were launched overnight and throughout the day. Crews from Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York searched a 375 square nautical mile area. Initial efforts were hampered by poor weather conditions and low visibility.

Social media revealed family and friends holding out hope for return of the captain and owner of the Mistress, Oscar Diaz and his nephew John Ansay.

Update: 6:00 a.m Coast Guard Actively Searching for Two Port of Galilee Fishermen

The @USCGNortheast latest update on the search for missing crew members posted below revealed the search still active for two missing Point Judith fishermen who were lost when the fishing vessel Mistress capsized and sank in the early morning hours on New Year’s Eve. Missing are the captain and owner of the vessel, Oscar Diaz and his nephew and crewmate, John Ansay.

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