Seafaring Saviours

Cape Cod Life  /  June 2022 / ,

Writer: Joe O'Shea

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Sea Tow Cape and Islands, and TowBoatU.S. Cape Cod/Plymouth provide maritime-support services for the region. Photography provided by SeaTow Cape and Islands, TowBoat U.S. Cape Cod/Plymouth and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Although this feature begins with a big-fish story, it’s not that kind of a big-fish story. In this tale, the fish was actually big—an 83-inch, 300-pound bluefin tuna—and it never got away. Soon after sport fisherman Andy Centauro, his wife, and cousin secured the big tuna, however, they were fortunate to escape with their lives when their boat, Reel Quick, nearly capsized on the way back to Nantucket.  “We were about 35 miles east of Great Point Light on Nantucket, near the Regal Sword shipwreck, and we had managed to get the tuna on ice on the deck,” recalls the retired Centauro, a lifelong boater and U.S. Coast Guard-certified captain. “We were on our way back to Nantucket at about 10-12 knots [about 12-14 miles an hour] when the front of the boat suddenly flew up in the air. You could hear the rumble, rumble, rumble of the propellers and then the boat keeled portside. Once I brought the boat up, we realized that we had hit some sort of submerged object.” After stabilizing the boat, Centauro inspected the damage and determined that the 35-foot Reel Quick remained seaworthy and safe. Hoping that they could limp back to Nantucket, and then to their home port in Falmouth, Centauro put the boat back into gear, only to discover that Reel Quick was unable to exceed eight knots without violently vibrating.  “We had a dilemma because we were about 70 miles from Falmouth,” adds Centauro. “We had life jackets as well as a raft on board, but we also had to worry about our propeller shaft cracking and potentially sinking in 40-degree waters.” So Centauro placed a call to Sea Tow…

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