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Towboat Captain Found Dead

The captain of a 29-foot towboat went missing on Wednesday and was later found dead after issuing a distress call that his vessel was taking on water west of Pocasset, Mass. near Buzzards Bay.

Watchstanders from the Sector Southeastern New England command center said they received the call at approximately 1 a.m. from the captain of the TowBoat U.S. vessel, Triple J.

A 25-foot Response Boat from Station Cape Cod Canal, a 41-foot utility boat from Station Woods Hole and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Tigershark were immediately launched to search for the captain.  Hours later at around 6 a.m a harbor master from Wareham, Mass., found the Triple J partially submerged approximately three miles south of Hog Island Channel.  At first the vessel was thought to be unmanned when it was found.

Later Wednesday the Coast Guard issued a statement that the captain had been found deceased in the cabin of the Triple J by a team of divers.

“Sadly, accidents like these are a very real danger of working on the water,” said Lt. Daniel Tanksley, a command duty officer at the 1st Coast Guard District Command Center. “In the wake of tragedies like this, we urge mariners to recognize these dangers, operate safely, and be prepared for the worst.”

Towboat U.S., or BoatUS, provides access to the largest network of on-the water commercial towing companies offering towing service, 24-hour dispatch, fuel delivery and jump starts to membership of recreational boaters