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Men Badly Burned


August 14, 1926

Badly Burned When Dragger Caught Fire
Sam Parisi and Son Joseph Rescued by the Eliza Riggs --
Others Jumped When Explosion Came

Capt. Samuel Parisi, his three sons and nephew, all members of the local Italian flounder dragger Roma, a 41 foot gasolene boat fishing out of this port, were rescued yesterday afternoon in Ipswich Bay, when their engine, a newly installed one, backfired and set the craft ablaze.

The accident occurred about 10 miles south west of Annisquam in Ipswich bay and had it not been for the close proximity of the gill netter Eliza C. Riggs, Capt. William LaFond, there is no doubt but what all hands would have perished because there were no other craft in that vicinity at the time.

The accident occurred without warning and came at the conclusion of the day's fishing operations while the craft was being made ready for a run home with her catch.

A sharp report, a lifting of the cabin, and Capt. Samuel Parisi and his 18-year-old son Joseph  were shot in the air and over the rail into the water, both being horribly burned about the face and arms from blazing gasolene, while Benjamin Parisi, 15 years old, and Nick Parisi, 10 years old, both sons of the skipper, leaped into the water.

Busty Parisi, 15 years old, a nephew of the captain, jumped overboard when the deck lifted, but he swam back to the burning craft, and then threw a rope to the captain who could not swim and who was having a hard time of it.

The elder Parisi, his face and arms burned, lay on the deck of the burning craft, as did his son Joseph.  The two boys managed to float around until they were picked up.

With fish just caught, Busty tried to smother the flames by shoveling them into the blazing gasolene following this by throwing on canvas, rope and everything available except water.

It looked bad for the men until the Eliza C. Riggs, which was setting her nets at the time, rushed full speed to the Italian boat, her crew having heard the report and witnessed the craft in flames.

The gill netter took the men off the craft and rushed them to this port where they were taken to their homes.  Nick Parisi sustained burns about the eyes and Busty Parisi suffered from burns about the arms.   It is not believed that either of the more seriously injured men are in any extreme danger although they suffered considerably before medical treatment was given them.   The boat burned to the water's edge and sank from sight.


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