Large boat corralled after mooring line breaks

EastBayRI.com ·

WESTPORT — With tropical storm Jose bearing down offshore last Tuesday morning, rescuers caught a large runaway sailboat that had broken free from its mooring within the relatively calm Westport River.

Peter Johnson spotted the unoccupied boat drifting from its mooring on the Horseneck side of the channel across toward Boathouse Row at around 9:10 a.m. and alerted the harbormaster’s office.

Mr. Johnson said that Woody Underwood and Peter Rosenthal managed to fend it off from the rocks.

Assistant harbormaster Jonathan Paull said that brothers Gary Tripp (deputy director of marine services) and Glen Tripp (assistant harbormaster), arrived a couple minutes later in the harbormaster boat to take it under tow to a mooring off Tripp’s Boatyard — the boatyard also dispatched a boat.

It appeared that the mooring line for the large boat, which Mr. Paull said is about 45 feet long, had frayed and broken.

The boat, owned by Joe Nagle, did not appear to have suffered any damage. It had been at its mooring over the summer without a mast undergoing work.

While it was calm within the river with northeast winds around 20-25 mph Tuesday morning, outside in open waters swells had been building for several days.

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