The captain of the vessel carrying Rowland and some friends got disoriented while following a whale-watching vessel about 30 nautical miles from Provincetown, Mass., said a Coast Guard spokeswoman from District 1, which overseas the Northeast region.
Watchstanders at Sector Boston received a call around 4 p.m. Friday reporting the situation.
“Using our Rescue 21 system, we were able to triangulate their position,” said Public Affairs Specialist 3rd Class Myeonghi Clegg. The Coast Guard called a commercial tow boat company, who went out to escort the vessel back to shore.
The Coast Guard kept in contact with the recreational boat carrying Rowland and her friends, while TowBoatUS Provincetown escorted the boat in.
About four miles off shore, the singer’s vessel had problems with the engine, and had to be towed the rest of the way, said Noah Santos, a captain with TowBoatUS Provincetown.
Clegg said the boat did not get back to shore until about 10:40 p.m.
“There is a lot of dangers that can be associated with being lost at sea,” said Clegg, “You can get swept out and be taken very far away from your home port.”
After their ordeal the people on the boat were “a little shook up,” said Santos, who added that the boat had faced swells of up to 5 feet. “They were very thankful,” he said.
The TowBoatUS captain was pretty impressed with Rowland. He said the next night he and his wife were dining at a local restaurant and ran into the singer, who picked up their dinner tab.
“She was very appreciative,” Santos said, “She gave me a big hug and said thank you.”