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The Julia


December 10, 1929

Ten Escape From Fisherman Afire
Jump Into Dories While Schooner Julia Burns
and Sinks Off Isles of Shoals
Taken to Portsmouth

Captain Frank Favazza and his crew of nine men were rescued from dories, to which they had jumped today when the fishing schooner Julia, of Boston burst into flames 20 miles east southeast of Isle of Shoals, and burned until she sank. The leaping flames and billowing smoke from the Julia brought a fleet of rescue craft, but the fishing schooner.

Antonio, also of Boston and also owned by Captain Favazza, picked up the Julia’s company, and left for home when it was seen that nothing could be done to save the abandoned vessel. Although the fire started in the engine room, and the crew was driven to the dories on a rolling winter sea, no one was killed, and none was hurt. The sudden sighting of the burning Julia, about 1:30 o’clock in the afternoon, furnished dramatics for the rest of the day.

Picket boats from the Isle of Shoals and from the Wood Island Coast Guard stations rushed to the scene, the patrol boat C. G. 279, with Commander S. R. Sands of this coast guard district, and the Piscataqua tug Mitchell Davis sped out from Portsmouth harbor. In the meantime, word flashed to the navy year brought preparations to make the mine sweeper Iuka ready for instant duty on a further call in emergency, and the naval tug James Wooley, although condemned for open sea work, was put in readiness if a disaster necessitated risking her and her company beyond the river mouth.

The crew of the Julia had been fighting the fire, Captain Favazza reported to coast guardsmen who reached him, ready for rescue work. But the flames gained such quick headway that he and his men were compelled to launch their dories, and jump to save their lives. Rolling on the open ocean, with the winter wind blowing bitter cold, the Julia’s crew watched their vessel burn to the water’s edge. The schooner Antonio was able to take them all aboard, and at 4:30 set her sails for Boston with every man safe.

The coast guard boats stood by until the Julia settled and sank. That was at 6:30 o’clock tonight. Then they returned to their stations. The flames and billowing smoke form the burning Julia attracted wide attention, and watchers through marine glasses at first thought from the dense sooty clouds which enveloped her that she was a steamer. They could make but little of her outline.

Wednesday, December 11, 1929

Skipper and Crew of Julia Brought Here After Seeing Craft Burn Off Isle of Shoals

Capt. Leo Favoloro and crew of five men were rescued off of the Isle of Shoals yesterday, by the local flounder dragger Antonina, Capt. Benjamin Randazza, when the schooner Julia, making her first trip flounder dragging from here this season, caught fire and was destroyed shortly before noon. The crew of the Julia were brought here late last night on board of the Antonina, one of them, Vito Lograsi, the engineer, being slightly burned about the face and neck.

Capt. Favoloro told a reporter last night, that the Julia, which left here at 1 o’clock yesterday morning for Jeffries, had made one set of the drag, and shortly before noon was engaged in making a second. All of the crew with the exception of the engineer, were on deck, when there was an explosion which lifted the men from their feet, and a sheet of flames shot out of the hatchway.

Lograsi, the engineer, was hurled against the side of the engine room, but managed to reach the companionway, through which he climbed and fell across the top step. Capt. Favoloro who was at the wheel, rushed forward and grabbed Lograsi and pulled him from the burning engine room companionway, while the others of the crew launched the two dories.

Off to one side, about a mile away, the dragger Antonina, Capt. Randazza, was fishing. The report of the explosion and the belching of black smoke from the burning craft, caused Capt. Randazza to hasten to the aid of the burning craft, and the crew of the Julia, attired in their oil clothes, were picked up in their dories and taken on board.

The crews of both craft then stood by, watching the flames, since there was nothing else they could do. On shore, Surfman Freeman of the Isles of Shoals station on patrol along the rocks, saw the smoke rising from the water, and gave an alarm.

Because of the density of the smoke caused b the burning crude oil, it was feared by the Coast Guard that a passenger steamer was on fire, and a message was telephoned to the commander of the Coast Guard at Wood Island and the Navy Yard at Portsmouth. From the Wood Island station, a boat with four men put out while one with four men was started from the Isles of Shoals station. The Navy Yard ordered the mine sweeper Iuka made ready for an emergency call, also the tug James Wooley, although condemned for open sea duty, made ready to go to the rescue if called upon. Patrol boat 279, one of the 75-footers, under command of Commander Sands of the Wood Island Station, was also started, and the three Coast Guard boats stood by the Julia until late in the afternoon, watching her burn.

Shortly after 6.30 o’clock, the Julia gave a lurch, and with a hissing as of steam, sank, a total loss.

The Julia was built at Essex in 1925, and hailed from Boston. She was valued according to Capt. Favoloro at $25,000.


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