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The Neptune


Wednesday, October 17, 1945

Six Gloucester Fishermen Rescued
Yesterday Off Boston Lightship

Men Were Adrift Four Hours After Dragger Neptune Sank Before Navy Patrol Boat Picked Them Up

Six fishermen were rescued from a raging sea, seven miles off Boston Lightship yesterday morning at 8 o’clock, after the dragger Neptune went down. They were brought into port yesterday by the USS Earhart, Navy patrol vessel.

The craft, the local 62-foot wooden auxiliary dragger, owned and skippered by Capt. Salvatore Santuccio, 40 years, laden with 65,000 pounds scrod hake, and bound for Gloucester, opened up and sank after being buffeted by strong seas about 8 o’clock yesterday morning, seven miles off Boston Lightship. Her skipper and crew of five men took to the dory, losing all their possessions, and were picked up four hours later by Navy patrol boat and brought to the Charlestown Navy Yard, arriving there at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon.

The Neptune, only a two year-old craft, sank within 10 minutes of the time she was abandoned by her crew. The vessel is valued at $25,000, the loss being covered by insurance through the agency of Mrs. Melvin I. Bernstein of this city. The vessel’s fare was valued at $2000.

The Neptune is the third Gloucester craft lost at sea this year while bringing home a fare of scrod hake. The others were the Ethel B. Huff, Capt. Nofie Demetri, which sank off Eastern Point, Gloucester, Thursday morning, May 3, and the Escort, Capt. Anthony Filletto, lost off Nantucket, Monday, May 14. Crews of both vessels were rescued.

Capt. Santuccio’s crew included Raymond Wheeler, 50, engineer; Nicholas Taddo, 52, cook, Lynn; Ellis Gray, 38, this city; Russell Lacerda, 34, this city; Richard Touissant, 50, this city.

The skipper, who was in the city this morning, said that after discharging a fare of scrod hake at the Independent Fish company here last Saturday, they sailed from there about 1 o’clock Sunday morning, going to the area off No Man’s where they fished for 26 hours and loaded the craft.. They started for home early yesterday morning, and were soon battling a stiff breeze which whipped up a heavy sea. The first thing they knew, the vessel was opening up and leaking badly.

There was nothing left for them to do, he said, but to leave the craft before they, too, were taken to the bottom with her. They launched the lone dory aboard, and all six men piled into the boat. Ten minutes later, the Neptune sank as they watched. They were unable to make much headway by rowing due to the seas, and instead struggled to keep their laden dory from being capsized. The skipper said two steamers passed within a half mile of them during the forenoon, but neither craft evidently noted the distress signal, the skipper was flying from the dory. He had rigged up a piece of cloth on the tip of an oar. However, the Navy patrol boat came along about noon and took them aboard, landing them at Boston in the late afternoon, none the worse for the experience.

The Neptune was launched two years ago at Saint Augustine, Fla. She was 62 feet long, 19 feet wide, 8 feet deep and of 25 gross tonnage. Capt. Santuccio had acquired the vessel only eight months ago.


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