Five people were rescued off Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula Wednesday, with the drama continuing as their sinking vessel was towed to safety.

The Emma Lucy began sinking about 13 kilometres south of St. Lawrence around 4:30 a.m.

While the Canadian Coast Guard moved into action, a nearby fishing vessel, Third Provider, was able to rescue the crew.

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Austin Clarke: 'I was just so worried that something was going to go wrong.' (CBC)

"It was a big deal because my son was aboard. We weren't really sure what was going to happen," said rescued crewmember Cas Clarke.

"We knew we were taking on water and we had to get out of that situation as fast as possible, but the biggest fear was for my son."

Eleven-year-old Austin Clarke held his own throughout the ordeal, but told CBC News he was relieved to make dry land.

"I was so nervous," he said. "I was just so worried that something was going to go wrong."

By the time the vessel reached St. Lawrence it was listing heavily, and most of it was under water. There was another close call at the wharf, as the Emma Lucy missed crashing into it by inches.

The Third Provider had to reduce its speed to just 1.4 knots to keep the disabled vessel from capsizing.

"We never had a really stable line," said Third Provider skipper Eric Reeves. "We were just trying to keep her up in the wind until the coast guard got there, so we kept going and kept going, and five hours later we made it."

Emma Lucy skipper Roger Pike said the vessel was not insured, and he figures much of what was onboard has been lost.

He said the boat will be pumped out and assessed for repairs.