Authorities searching for 2 missing fishermen near Block Island
The United States Coast Guard will continue to search overnight for two fishermen whose boat capsized near Block Island Tuesday morning.
Authorities said the captain of the Mistress issued a mayday call around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, noting the 52-foot boat was taking on water near the Block Island Wind Farm.
“The fishing boat Captain Bligh was nearby and responded to the scene first,” according to a press release. “The crew of the Captain Bligh rescued one fisherman and reported that the Mistress had capsized, and two fishermen were missing.”
Andrew Arnett, who was aboard the Captain Bligh, described the scene.
“By the time we got there, there was no boat, so we just followed the tide and the wind,” Arnett told NBC 10 News.
That’s when they found a man floating in a life raft.
“He was in shock,” Arnett said. “He was just in shock. He didn’t have much to say. Just try getting him warm, got him in some dry clothes and made him feel comfortable, got him in a bed, wrapped him in heated blankets and sheets.”
The man who was rescued was out fishing with his father and cousin. They were on their way to Narragansett, where they planned to dock their boat.
Friends identified the captain of the missing boat as Oscar Diaz. They said he is good man and a great dad.
“One of those guys who always had something great to say, was always friendly, hard-working, extremely hard working,” said Richard Fuka, who is the president of the Rhode Island Fisherman’s Alliance.
The other missing man has been identified as John Ansay, who is Diaz's nephew. Authorities said both men are wearing survival suits.
While an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, as well as a 45-foot response boat from Station Point Judith, arrived to help, but “encountered low visibility and unsafe weather conditions.”
The search continued as of 7 p.m.