Wednesday, January 30, 1925
Coast Guard Rescues Six Gloucester Fishermen
From Rigging of Wrecked Dragger at Race Point
Marie and Winifred Grounds
During Blizzard While Seeking Shelter
Fire in Oil Barrel Guides Rescuers to Stricken Vessel
No One Injured
Six Gloucester fishermen, numbed by cold and hanging to the
superstructure of their craft, the 80-foot Gloucester auxiliary fishing dragger Marie
and Winifred, were rescued through the heroic efforts of the U.S. Coast
Guard early this morning after the dragger trying for shelter at Race Point near here,
went hard aground during the blinding snow storm.
Their skipper, Capt. Leroy N. Amero, 43,
paid high tribute to the courage and daring of the Coast Guardsmen. The craft owned by the
B & B Trawling Co., Gloucester, and valued at $40,000 is believed to be a total loss
after taking a terrific beating from the heavy seas and storm. The craft was built in
Essex, MA in 1929.
The Gloucester crew included the following :
Capt. Leroy N. Amero, 43, master
Walter Cunningham, 59, engineer
Lewis F. Thompson, 54, cook
John A. MacKillop, 37
Mario Polloni, 46, of Rockport
Vincent J. Walsh, 51
"We were just about to abandon ship," said Capt. Amero.
"And were going to try to put out in our dory when the Coast Guard came. We were
going down fast. All my men were suffering from exposure. Their feet and fingers were
freezing. Our engine room was flooded. Our stern was under and our bow was up."
"I cant praise the Coast Guard enough. We were just hanging on when they came.
Their first try to take us off was futile. They had to make another run alongside. It was
an almost impossible job in the high seas but they did it."
The Marie and Winifred left
Gloucester last Wednesday and had gone into this port yesterday and discharged a fine trip
of groundfish, holding aboard what ocean perch she had aboard. They were returning to the
fishing banks last night when they ran head-on into the blizzard, and the skipper decided
to move closer in shore in an effort to escape the terrific pounding. However, the dragger
grounded hard on a sandbar off Race Point. Capt. Amero and his crew lit a
bonfire aboard ship, using a metal container to hold the fire in an effort to attract
rescuers to their side. They had already radioed to the U.S. Coast Guard for aid. The
motor lifeboat from Race Point Lifeboat station in command of CMB John Correa
and with CM3c John Heath and En3c Warren Quinn, for
crew, was dispatched to the scene, and a Coast Guard patrol boat out of Provincetown also
joined the search.
The position of the stricken dragger was given as about a
mile north of the Race Point lighthouse. It was so thick at the time because of the
weather that there was practically no visibility, making the job of the Coast Guard a most
difficult one. Report has it that the Race Point lifeboat bucked the fierce weather for
four hours before the crew spotted the beacon fire aboard the dragger. The Coast Guarder
fought through to the side of the dragger and saw the crew of the fisherman clinging to
the ice-covered super-structure of the boat and finally could hear their shouts for help
above the roar of the storm. The Coast Guardsmen noted that much of the dragger was
After succeeding in getting the six men off the dragger and
onto the lifeboat, the fishermen were rushed to Race Point station where they were treated
for exposure. A few hours after the crew of six had been furnished with dry clothing,
Capt. Amero and his men returned with the coast Guard to the wreck hoping
that it might be possible to beach the dragger so that efforts might be made to salvage
the Gloucesterman. The Marie and Winifred had taken a terrific
pounding on the sandbar through the night.
Throughout the search, the Coast Guard lifeboat from Race
Point, had kept in constant radio communication with their own station and with the radio
station at Marshfield in their attempt to locate the stricken dragger by plotting
The Marie and Winifred for many
years was owned and skippered by Capt. Alexander McDonald of Gloucester.
She was a dory trawler at first and was later converted to dragging. Her present owners
are ex-Mayor John J. Burke, Jr., and William J. Brady,
the partners in the B. & B. Trading Co.