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Coast Guard tows disabled fishing vessel back to Dominican Republic

Grace Zanzibar crew of 16 requests assistance after taking on water near Haiti

The U.S. Coast Guard tows the 150-foot fishing vessel Grace Zanzibar to the Dominican Republic, Sunday, July 23, 2017.
The U.S. Coast Guard tows the 150-foot fishing vessel Grace Zanzibar to the Dominican Republic, Sunday, July 23, 2017.

MIAMI – The U.S. Coast Guard was towing a 150-foot fishing vessel with 16 people on board to the Dominican Republic after it became disabled near Haiti.

A Coast Guard news release said the crew of the Dominican Republic-flagged Grace Zanzibar sent a distress message Saturday indicating that the vessel was disabled and taking on water about 35 miles south of Haiti.

The Coast Guard diverted an airplane crew to the vessel, dropping a dewatering pump, food and water to the crew.

A second airplane crew was diverted to the ship about midnight Sunday to drop another dewatering pump after the Grace Zanzibar crew reported that the flooding was beyond a single pump's capacity.

The Coast Guard Cutter Dauntless was dispatched to help the Grace Zanzibar crew stop the flooding. A small boat crew from the Dauntless was able to cap the leak and helped tow the ship back to the Dominican Republic.

They were scheduled to arrive in Las Calderas, Dominican Republic, by Tuesday afternoon.