Coast Guard

The Coast Guard assisted two people aboard the 50-foot fishing boat Lois Virginia Thursday after the boat became disabled 31 miles south of Block Island.

The crew aboard Lois Virginia used a VHF-FM radio to contact Coast Guard watchstanders at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday to report their distress.

The crew aboard the nearby 87-foot fishing boat Sao Paulo overheard the transmission and offered to tow the Lois Virginia into Point Judith, Rhode Island.

The Coast Guard Cutter Hammerhead, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Woods Hole, diverted to assist, arrived on scene, and escorted both fishing boats.

Additionally, a 45-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Point Judith launched, took over the tow in the vicinity of Block Island, and brought the Lois Virginia the rest of the way to shore.

“Weather conditions were poor, with three to seven foot seas, visibility of less than one mile, and snow falling at times,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Kevin Grant, of Station Point Judith, “It was a collective effort of both our crew and the good Samaritans to bring them home safely.”

A second good Samaritan crew aboard the fishing boat Matador, assisted the Lois Virginia crew with their outriggers once the Lois Virginia was inside Point Judith Harbor.

Sector Southeastern New England has eight Stations, four Cutters, two Aids to Navigation teams, and two Marine Safety Detachment units, including Station Point Judith and the Hammerhead.

Photo: Crewmembers aboard a 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Point Judith monitor the tow of the disabled fishing boat Lois Virginia into Point Judith Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Lois Virgina became disabled about 30 miles south of Block Island and made it back to shore with the help of the Coast Guard and two good Samaritan boat crews.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.