December 2, 1940
Mackerel Fisherman Is Swept To Doom
A Gloucester mackerel fisherman was thrown off
balance when the local seiner Catherine Graffeo gave a lurch in
heavy seas shortly after midnight Sunday, and was hurled into the icy water off Block
Island, and drowned in the sight of his dory mates.
The unfortunate fisherman was Michaelangelo
"Charlie" Dimino, 43 years old, father of four young children ranging
in ages from 5 to 9 years of age He was sighted once after he went over board but
the crew were unable to reach him Tony Shuilaffo of Commercial
street, who was standing nearby Dimino, had a narrow escape from a
similar fate but with presence of mind, fell atop the seine to get a purchase and thus
The seiner reported the tragedy as the vessel
arrived at Newport, Rhode Island, early yesterday morning with 25,000 pounds of small
mackerel. The vessel will return here after selling her trip, and go on the railways
for overhauling preparatory to changing over to dragging. Capt. Jerome
Frontiero, skipper of the Catherine Graffeo, told the
man's family here yesterday that the Graffeo had just completed
seining the mackerel, and had hauled in the seine onto the stern deck of the seiner.
Domino and Shuilaffo were standing on top of the stairs
as the skipper turned around to go forward. At this moment, the heavy running sea
caused the 104 foot vessel to give a sudden lurch, which caught Dimino
off balance and tossed him off the stern into the icy water. The skipper believes
that Dimino must have struck his head against the side of the boat as he
went overboard for when the crew next saw him he appeared to be unconscious.
Shuilaffo hastily fell to his
knees on top of the seine, grasping at the twine as he felt the lurch, and saved himself
from going overboard. He shouted to the skipper who immediately set about in an
effort to rescue Dimino. They succeeded in launching the small boat
when they saw Dimino come to the surface, but the man remained in sight
for a brief moment when weighted down by his rubber boots and oilskins, he disappeared
from sight. The Graffeo cruised in the vicinity for more
than an hour but never sighted Dimino again.
Hoisting their American flag to half-mast,
they headed for Newport. Dimino, who had been with the Catherine
Graffeo all summer and fall had been mackerel seining and dragging since he
was a youngster.