The U.S. Coast Guard said a sailor from New York state was rescued Sunday night after his sailboat became tangled in fishing gear off the coast of Phippsburg.

Paul Conner, a search and rescue controller at the Coast Guard station in South Portland, said the sailor, whose name was unavailable, was not hurt when his 32-foot sailboat got tangled in lobster gear off Cape Small.

The Coast Guard said the man, who also lost power to his motor, was being pushed by waves toward a rocky ledge and was in danger of sinking. However, the mariner was able to lower his sails and drop anchor while he waited for rescue crews to arrive.

Conner said the man was sailing along the coast and heading toward Rhode Island when the incident occurred around 5:30 p.m.

A 47-foot motorized Coast Guard lifeboat, assisted by the Maine Marine Patrol, arrived and was towing the sailboat to Portland on Sunday night.

Earlier in the evening, Kenneth Stuart, a command duty officer for the Coast Guard, said the mariner radioed for help after his sailboat became tangled in lobster gear and “he couldn’t maneuver.”

“He was foundering in high seas but was able to get his sails down,” Stuart said.

After the mariner dropped anchor, a good Samaritan was able to get close to the stranded sailboat and kept watch while they waited for rescue crews to arrive.


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