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Coast Guard boat capsizes off Rockaway Beach in Queens; crew swims to safety

Coast Guard is lowered from a helicopter to

Coast Guard is lowered from a helicopter to a commercial fishing vessel that ran aground early Wednesday off the Rockaways. Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

Five Coast Guard crew members swam to safety Thursday morning after their vessel capsized off Rockaway Beach in Queens.

The incident happened while the crew was responding to a distress call from a fishing vessel that had taken on water and subsequently ran aground at about 2 a.m., the Coast Guard said in a news release.

The Coast Guard sent a 25-foot rescue boat to the scene, but it capsized in the rough waters, which were experiencing waves up to 12 feet at the time.

The five Coast Guard crew members and the seven people aboard the fishing vessel made it safely to shore, officials said.

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