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The Ella M. Doughty


December 28, 1915

Give Up All Hope For Sch. Ella M. Doughty And Crew
Craft Sailed from Here November 3 on Herring Voyage to Bay of Islands, Newfoundland - Never Seen or Heard of Since - Commanded by Capt. Robert Diggins and Carried a Crew of Five Men - Believed to Have Foundered in One of Fierce Gales Which Swept Coast Early in November - First Fishing Craft Lost from Here With All Hands in Five Years

After an eight week's absence from this port which she left November 3, and since when she has not been seen or reported, sch. Ella M. Doughty, commanded by Capt. Robert Diggins, was today officially given up as lost by the Gorton-Pew Fisheries Company of this city, her owners.  She carried a crew of five men.  The vessel left here for Bay of Islands, N. F., for a cargo of herring and it is agreed that she probably foundered in one of the severe gales that have swept the coast since she left here.

The lost men:

Capt. Robert Diggins, of Gloucester, age 54
Nels Johnson, mate, of Gloucester, age 33
Joseph Beaton, of East Boston, age 18
Pius McPhee, cook, of Gloucester, age 47
Oliveira Pernandez Pent, age 25
Manuel Silva, age 38

This is the first Gloucester fishing craft to be lost with all hands since the sch. Ella M. Goodwin.   Capt. James Goodwin was given up as lost by her owners February 23, 1911.  The cases are somewhat similar as the Goodwin was never heard of or seen after leaving Bay of Islands for this port with herring.

Under ordinary conditions the trip to Newfoundland is one that takes between one and two weeks, but as the Doughty is one of the older and slower vessels of the fleet , fears for her safety were not entertained until some time later, and gradually the thought that the vessel had been lost became impressed on the minds of her owners and the relatives and friends of the captain and crew.

Hoping against hope, they continued to wait for some word from the missing craft but all in vain.  Today it was admitted that the vessel had probably foundered and that the six men on board had perished with her.

This is given another example of the dangers that follow the life of the Gloucester fishermen and the large toll of lives that the sea has claimed is further added to.

Capt. Diggins who commanded the ill-fated craft is a native of Nova Scotia but has lived here since his youth.   He leaves a wife, who was Margaret Darcy before her marriage, and one daughter, Elise, age 12.  He has also one sister, Mrs. John Ferguson, of this city, and one brother Patrick, of Boston.  Four brothers, William, James, Thomas and Maurice, and two sisters, Mrs. George Porper and Mrs. Ellen Welsh, live at Manaset Lake, N. S.

Capt. Diggins has been a master mariner of this port for many years and was held in high esteem by all.  For the past 12 years he has commanded vessels of the Gorton-Pew Fisheries Company's fleet, notably schooners Olga, Monitor, Essex, and his last vessel.   In his loss, the city loses a fine type of man and his employers, a faithful servant.

Nels Johnson, the mate, was not married, and has been fishing form this port for the past 12 years, following for the most part the halibuting branch.  He was 33 years old.

Joseph Beaton, who was but 18 years of age, has been in this city but a short time, coming from Ingonish, C. B., about two years ago.  He was a member of the crew of one of the seining fleet the past season and during that time made his home in East Boston.

[Notice that the headline reads "Crew of Five", and in the article it states "that the six men on board had perished with her."  The death records of the city of Gloucester list the crew as follows:

John Benton, 19, single, native of Ingonish
Oliveria Pernandez, 25, single, native of Portugal
Nels Johnson, 23, single, native of Norway
Manuel Silva, 38, single, native of Portugal
Robert Diggins, 54, native of Nova Scotia
Pius McPhee, 47, single, native of Prince Edward's Island.


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