Rescue Entire Crew of Ill-fated Trawler
Members of Exeter on Board Cutter Bound for Boston
Craft Caught Fire and Sank Several Hours Later
After drifting helplessly in tow dories in a thick fog, the
nine members of the crew of the 93-foot baby beam trawler, Exeter,
Capt. Vernon J. Nickerson, were rescued by the crew of the Boston beam
trawler Illinois, near the spot, 50 miles south of Cape Sable
where the ship had burst into flames.
The Exeter valued at $50,000 sunk
to the oceans bottom at 11 oclock last night, while her crew was picked up at
4.30 yesterday afternoon, six hours after first word was flashed from her radio to the
Marshfield radio telephone station, that the vessel was sinking. The Coast Guard cutter Algonquin
took the men off the Illinois at 6.30, and later transferred
them to the cutter Cayuga which proceeded to Boston to land the
men this forenoon at the Boston Fish Pier.
The fire started in the engine room of the ship, but no
cause was revealed as to the origin. First reports of the near-tragedy had stated another
vessel had collided with the Exeter, but this was later found to
be untrue. The dense fog hampered rescue vessels from arriving earlier to the rescue.
The local beam trawler Gemma,
owned by the John Chisholm Fisheries of this city; the Boston beam trawlers Thomas
Whalen and Hekla, and the Canadian steamship Lady
Rodney had all picked up the Exeter skippers
message for help, and notified the Coast Guard at Boston that they were proceeding to the
scene, being close by. The Hekla was reported nearest at the
time. The cutters Algonquin and the local patrol boat Harriet
Lane, Chief Boatswain Charles M. Fedderson, also made for
the locale, being about 40 miles away at the time on patrol.
The rescued crew included Capt. Nickerson,
Mate Robie Conrad, Chief Engineer Forman Spinney, this
city; Sec. Engineer Woodrow Wilson, Cook George I. Hopkins,
Andrew Fogarty, Robert Dahl, John Murphy
and Samuel Steele, all of Greater Boston. Steele was
substituting for William Burke on this voyage.