A Wesport lobster boat remained on the rocks and in the surf off a remote coastline in Aquinnah Wednesday night, with salvage efforts set to begin again on Thursday morning.
Coast Guard public affairs spokesmen said that while the 46-foot Sherry Ann had a gash in her hull and some 800 gallons of fuel on board, they believed there was no imminent danger of a fuel spill.
The Coast Guard, Aquinnah police, firefighters, state environmental police and a marine salvage outfit from New Bedford worked throughout the day Wednesday to rescue the boat that ran aground halfway between Squibnocket Point and the Gay Head Light at approximately 11:40 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Coast Guard station Menemsha was on the scene Wednesday afternoon along with the tugboat Co from Tucker-Roy Marine Towing and Salvage Inc. of New Bedford. Efforts to pull the vessel off the rocks were unsuccessful.
Coast Guard senior chief Jason Olsen of station Menemsha confirmed that the vessel had a gash in its hull and was taking on water.
A Coast Guard command center was set up in Woods Hole Wednesday afternoon to monitor the salvage effort and Air Station Cape Cod launched an MH-60J Jayhawk helicopter to assess the environmental impact and check for leaking fuel. None was found.
The vessel had two tanks on board, carrying some 800 gallons of fuel. Although no fuel spillage was reported by the helicopter crew, Lieut. Bryan Swintex said the Coast Guard’s primary concern had shifted to removing the fuel from the vessel.
“The question now is to minimize the impact [by removing the fuel and avoiding a spill],” he said.
Mr. Swintex confirmed there were three people aboard the vessel when it went aground. The name of the Sherry Ann’s owner had not been released.