Fishing boat breaks free from mooring during storm

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Living Waters, a Bristol-based fishing boat, broke free from its mooring late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning and drifted into the rocky shoreline next to the Lobster Pot restaurant.

Passersby noticed the large green trawler washed up just a few feet from the popular restaurant early Thursday morning and alerted officials. Sgt. Dan White from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management responded to the scene and by about 8:30 was waiting for the boat's owner to arrive.

At about the same time, others, including Lobster Pot manager Lee Terra, stopped by the restaurant to survey the situation. She watched as a hard wind gusted from the southwest and waves pounded against the hull of the fishing boat as it leaned hard onto its side. Water washed over the boat's deck. A small white dinghy that had been tethered to the roof of the cabin dangled in the water.

"This is not good. This is not good," Ms. Terra said. She was concerned that waves might tip the boat over, sending its rigging into the wall of windows at the Lobster Pot. She was on the phone with the restaurant's owner, Jeff Hirsh.

Sgt. White said the vessel did not appear to be leaking any fuel.

"The owner's coming down here and he'll make plans" to right the boat and pump out the water, Sgt. White said.

Ms. Terra said the restaurant was closed for vacation. She said it was due to reopen on Feb. 13.

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