January 14, 1935
Save Four Fishermen From Watery Grave
Local Craft Goes To Aid of Disabled Trawler
Men Landed Here -- C. G. Picks Up Boat
Four Boston Italian fishermen were saved from
a watery grave Saturday afternoon through the pluckiness of the crew of the local schooner
Natalie Hammond, Capt. Frank Rose, who, with
his men, rescued the quartet from their disabled small trawler Mariana,
Capt. Cosimo Parco, 38 miles east by south of Eastern Point, and brought
them into port.
The Hammond was
unable to get a towline on the 37-foot craft, and was obliged to let he go adrift.
The Coast Guard Cutter Cayuga, Capt. Wilfred N. Derby,
picked her up at 3.15 o'clock yesterday afternoon, 22 miles east of North Truro, and towed
her into Provincetown, the nearest port. Capt. Parco said yesterday
that he is all through with fishing, the jinx having followed him the past few
trips. He intends to try for a safer and easier post ashore. He came within an
ace of losing his life on the previous trip when he fell overboard and was rescued by one
of his men.
The Mariana, a small
boat of 14 gross tonnage, was built at Winthrop for Tony Orlando of
Boston, in 1929, and is 37.3 feet long, 12.5 feet beam, and 4.8 feet depth. She had
been fishing out of this port up to a month ago when she changed to Boston and there Parco
recruited three Italian fishermen to make up his crew. They sailed from Boston,
Thursday night, for Jeffrey's Ledge, their usual fishing grounds, and having 1500 pounds
of mixed fish aboard after several hours work, they decided to make for the Hub market
when the crank shaft of their small engine broke and crippled the craft. They threw
out the anchor, but during Friday night, a gale sprung up, whipping a nasty sea, which
caused the frail craft to drift at the mercy of the combers. All feared for their
lives, and suffered from exposure as the wind-swept spray froze to the rigging.
With the break of dawn on Saturday morning
hope came, that a passing fisherman might see their plight and save them. During the
morning, they heard on their radio receiving apparatus, the weather forecast for the
coming night which prophesied a blizzard, and continued high winds. Parco
told a reporter that the announcement seemed a death sentence, for he could not see
how his boat could weather another such night. Then about 1 o'clock in the afternoon
he espied two sails, apparently Gloucester fishermen, approaching. He had set the
American flag upside down, in the rigging, a marine signal of a boat in distress, while
all hands stood on deck and waved their arms and hollered to attract the attention of the
schooners. The first one, sch. Laura Goulart, apparently
failed to note the small boat's peril, and continued on her way, but the second sch. Natalie
Hammond, Capt. Rose, saw the boat and came to the rescue.
Capt. Rose did what he could
to get a tow-line to the small craft and when within 30 feet of the Mariana,
he tossed a line and the crew made it taut, but it suddenly snapped and the craft was left
once more the the mercy of the heavy seas. The skipper dared not try it again for
fear of swamping the Mariana if the sea should bring him too
close to her, and as he heard the crew of the latter shout to forget the boat and save
them, he called for volunteers to get into a dory and to to the aid of the men.
Every man on the Hammond stepped up and offered to go.
Capt. Rose chose Ralph Jensen and Jack Meade, and after
much difficulty, they succeeded in launching the dory, and soon had her near enough to the
Mariana to allow the four fishermen to jump aboard. This
done, they made once more for the Hammond, were helped aboard by
eager hands, and taken below where hot coffee and a fisherman's "mug up" were
The Italian fishermen were mightily thankful
for they had about given up hope of ever seeing their lived ones again. Capt. Parco
told Capt. Rose that he was all done with fishing, and would get rid of
the boat. He declared that a jinx had chased him for the past moth, and that only on
his recent trip two weeks ago in the heavy gale which lashed the North Atlantic, he and
his men had been caught in the blow, during which Parco had been swept
overboard. But for the alertness of one of his crew he would have perished then and
there. The craft lost 14 tubs of trawl in that gale.
The trip back to this port was a slow one for
the Hammond for she had to fight the gale the whole way, and her
120 horsepower engine had to do extra duty with her canvas spread. She iced up
heavily, and it was not until 3 o'clock Sunday morning, that the draft arrived off Eastern
Point light. The rigging had ices so badly that it was impossible to lower the
sail. Since Capt. Rose did not dare to risk maneuvering through the
harbor with his sail uncontrollable, he jogged outside until dawn until the crew could
break off the bulk ice, and give the sail free-play. The craft finally docked at the
Pew wharf in the inner harbor at 6.30 o'clock yesterday morning. The Mariana's
crew went to the home of Capt. Benjamin Curcuru on Western avenue, where
they telephoned Coast Guard at Base 7, requesting them to search for the craft.