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The G. N. Soffron


Wednesday, November 30, 1949

Dragger Piles Up ON Brazil Rocks
Passing Vessel Picks Up All Hands
G. N. Soffron Believed To Be Total Loss Near Shelburne, N. S.
Hit During Dense Fog and Gale Last Night

The local 81-foot auxiliary fishing dragger, G. N. Soffron, Capt. Everett D. "Hop" Vannah, 44 years, 99 Mt. Pleasant avenue, went ashore on Blanchard’s Island, Brazil Rocks, near Shelburne, Nova Scotia, during a dense fog and a gale of wind last night. All hands were saved when they were picked up by a passing vessel.

The dragger, valued at $75,000 is reported to be a total loss. The craft is owned by John J. Burke, Jr., of Sherman B. Ruth Co. of this city, and William J. Brady of Gloucester Seafoods Corp. this city. The loss is partially covered by insurance.The seven members of the crew include:

Capt. Vannah
George W. Spoon, 43 years, 328 Main street, this city, engineer
Manuel Medeiros, of Peabody, cook
Edwin J. Vannah, 32 years, 48 Warner street, this city, a brother to the skipper
Robert Roy, 27 years, 1054 Washington street, this city
Robert Jensen, 27 years, 6 Avon court, this city
Norbert Gerard Amero, 29 years, 3 Norseman avenue, this city

First news of the tragedy, the 13th Gloucester vessel lost in 1949, was received in a telephone call at 10:30 o’clock this morning form Capt. Vannah to Barney Amero at the Sherman B. Ruth Co in this city. Capt. Vannah was telephoning from Port Latour, N. S.,. to which port the crew was taken by the rescue vessel, according to the report.

Captain Vannah told Mr. Amero that he was making land at the time of the tragedy to escape from the terrific gale that was raging. He said there was a thick fog and the first inkling of disaster came when the craft hit something off Brazil Rocks. The shipper immediately tried to summon help by radio telephone, believing that other fishing vessels were in the vicinity, but he was unable to raise anybody.

The Soffron left Gloucester Wednesday, November 16 to go redfishing off Cape Shore, Nova Scotia. She had a redfish trip aboard and was homeward bound when she went ashore, planning to continue her voyage home after weathering the gale at Port Latour.

A poor telephone connection between here and Port Latour prevented the owners here from getting complete details of the marine loss, this forenoon.

The Soffron was launched from the Essex shipyards of John Prince Story May 26, 1943 for the Saffron brothers, George N., for whom the boat was named, Peter, Stephen and Thomas, all of Ipswich. The four brothers conduct a large enterprise dealing in clams, and had decided to venture into the commercial deep-sea fisheries. The Soffron was the first of their fleet, the later ones being the Andarte and the Evzone. Since that time, they have disposed of all three craft to other buyers.

Messrs. Burke and Brady bought the Soffron about five years age and had her fishing out of Gloucester for redfish. The Saffron has always been a successful producer of redfish under Mr. Burke’s management, and her loss will be keenly felt by the owners and the city.

The Saffron was 81 feet long, 19 feet wide, and 11 feet deep. Her hold capacity was 125,000 pounds fresh fish. Her first skipper was Capt. Bert Cluett of this port.


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