Coast Guard Station Brant Point has sent its two largest vessels, the 47-foot motor life boats, to Martha’s Vineyard ahead of Tropical Storm Henri’s arrival and will not be staffing the station during the storm.
In anticipation of a 3 to 5 foot storm surge that could cause flooding around Brant Point, Master Chief Boatswain’s Mate Andrew Babione said he made the decision to stand up an alternate response site at the Coast Guard facility on Low Beach Road, and send the 47-foot motor lifeboats to Coast Guard Station Menemsha on the Vineyard.
Brant Point’s only other vessel, a 24-foot shallow water response boat, is trailered and will be unable to get in the water after the storm gate at the Children’s Beach boat ramp is closed at 8pm tonight, leaving the station with no assets to respond to any rescue situations around the island.
“The station here at Brant Point is not fortified for flooding and we were not able to secure an adequate mooring location in the harbor that would not flood, so we moved them over to Menemsha,” Babione said. “Past flood events have prevented us from using the station before, and if we do leave the boats and vehicles there, they’d get flooded out and we’d have to kayak to a boat on the dock.”
For the next 24 to 48 hours, there will be no rescue capability at Station Brant Point, and island residents are asked to call the Coast Guard communication center in Woods Hole at 508-457-3211 in the event of an emergency, Babione said.
The closest Coast Guard asset able to respond to a water rescue sitiaron would be Air Station Cape Cod, Babione added.