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The Louise B. Marshall

 

January 6, 1923

Three Washed Overboard When Sea Breaks Over Craft
Antoine Dias One of the Crew of Sch. Louise B. Marshall Drowned—
Two Companions Escaped Similar Fate When Second Wave Landed Them Back on Deck Again

Antoine Dias was drowned, and two others narrowly escaped the same fate, when the trip members of the crew of sch. Louise B. Marshall, Capt. Matthew Sears of this port, were washed from the deck of the schooner in a heavy gale last Thursday. One of the two who were saved is confined to his home where he was taken up on the arrival of the schooner in port shortly after 8 o’clock this morning.

According to members of the crew, the accident happened at 4 o’clock last Thursday morning, while the schooner was fishing on the southeastern part of Brown’s Bank. The crew had made one set of the trawls the day before, and had turned in for the night, leaving the schooner to jog along.

The night was calm, and the ocean practically smooth, with no indications in the sky or by the reading of barometer of an approaching storm. Suddenly the wind began to freshen up from the eastward, and the seas roughened more and more. Shortly before 4 o’clock the gale had reached such alarming proportions that the watch feared the sails would be stripped from the vessel, and called to the skipper. When the skipper came on deck and took in the situation, he immediately called all hands to take in sail. Before this could be accomplished, however, the foresail was ripped to shreds, and the schooner was being washed from stem to stern with the waves, which had reached great height.

Lining up along the rail, standing at the sheet preparing to lower the mainsail with the others of the crew were Frank Dias, Frank Batiste and Manuel Leeman. Without warning, a huge sea arising to a height of about 20 feet above their heads, buckled over and broke, sending tons of water down into the midst of the fishermen and sending them sprawling over the deck, some were dashed up against the rail, and pinned there, while Antoine Dias went clear of the rail, and out of sight. His two companions were also hurled into the ocean in full view of their shipmates, while another large sea, breaking again over the craft, landed the two stunned fishermen back on the deck of the schooner.

Manuel Leeman was rendered unconscious, and received a deep gash on the head. Frank Batiste was badly used up, and complained of soreness about the body, caused by his contact with the rail as he went over the side. Both men were taken into the cabin and made comfortable, and schooner headed for port, running before the wind as fast as her skipper dared to push her.

The Marshall arrived this morning with a 10,000 pound trip of fresh fish. Leeman was rushed to his home for medical treatment.

Members of the crew say that the escape of the two men was remarkable, for once the huge wall of water swept the schooner it was feared that everything movable had been swept from the deck, and the crew missing.

Staggering under the heavy deluge, the Marshall trembled and shook herself, regained her bearings and with nose pointed homeward, started her thrilling run for port to the aid for her injured member.

Dias, the man who lost his life, was 48 years of age, married, and leaves a wife and three children.

 

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