The United States Coast Guard came to the rescue of a disabled Massachusetts-based fishing vessel that started to drift Wednesday afternoon when its engine suffered a mechanical failure in a stretch of ocean roughly 50 miles off the coast of Cape Elizabeth.

Kenneth Stuart, a command duty officer for the Coast Guard station in South Portland, said the crew of the 55-foot Mary Elizabeth sent out a distress call around 4:10 p.m.

Stuart said the Coast Guard was unable to contact mariners in the vicinity of the vessel, who might have been available to provide assistance, and responded by diverting one of its own vessels.

The110-foot Coast Guard cutter Jefferson Island found the fishing boat and towed it to Portland. The vessels were expected to arrive in port around 2 a.m. Thursday.

All five crew members were said to be in good health. The Mary Elizabeth is based in Scituate, Mass.