Thursday, April 22, 1952
Rescue Five Fishermen as Dragger Nina
Burns, Sinks N.E. of Thachers
Fire Broke Out in Engine Room
Salvatore and Rose Picks Up Men in Dories
Five Gloucester fishermen were forced to flee from their flaming auxiliary fishing
dragger, the 61-foot Nina, when the latter craft suddenly caught
fire in the engine room, about 8.30 oclock last night, seven miles northeast of
Thachers Island buoy. They were rescued from their two dories, 40 minutes later, by
the Gloucester auxiliary fishing dragger, Salvatore and Grace,
which landed the men at Davis Bros. Fisheries Co, Wharf, Rogers Street, here at 11.30
oclock last night. Despite efforts of Coast Guardsmen aboard the patrol boat General
Greene of this port to save her, the dragger Nina still
burning, sank in 50 fathoms of water at 12.10 oclock this morning. It was the third
vessel loss for the owner-master, Capt. Philip "Scotty" Parisi,
41 years, in the past six years. The Nina was insured for
$25,000 through the Elwell Insurance Agency of this city. Loss is estimated at $30,000.
The five rescued men include Capt. Parisi, owner-master and engineer; John
Randazza, 20 years, cook; Karl E. Johnson, Jr.,
23 years; Anthony Loiacano, 17 years; and Rosario Grillo,
18 years. The latters father, Ralph Grillo, was a regular crew
member but had stayed ashore this trip because of an injured hand.
It was only eight months ago, Tuesday afternoon, August 28, 1951, that Capt. Parisis
former dragger, the Nancy F., a 69-foot craft, caught fire while
they were fishing 22 miles northeast of Provincetown about 1.30 oclock in the
afternoon and sank 4 ½ hours later despite efforts to save her. Member of that crew of
five was also John Randazza who again with Capt. Parisi
was saved last night from the Nina. In the instance of the
ill-fated Nancy F., it was the Boston dragger Diana
C. which rescued the men from their dories into which they were forced by
fire within 15 minutes of an explosion that caused the fire.
Capt. Parisis other loss was the 75-foot auxiliary fishing
dragger St. Paul, new in 1944, when eight months later on
November 29, 1945 while the craft was berthed at Fort wharf, this city, a howling
northeast blizzard tore her loose from her dock lines, and sent her bowling out across the
harbor to smash onto the shore at Dollivers Neck, a hopeless wreck. The craft was
valued at $75,000.
Capt. Parisi bought the dragger June Bride
from New Bedford parties, January 2nd of this year, a boat that was built at
Fernandes, Fla., in 1933. The skipper didnt like the name so he re-named her the Nina
in honor of his 14-year-old daughter Antonina.
They had been fishing in her since that time, and in fact landed a small trip here last
Saturday. Capt. Parisi said that last evening they were all on deck
hauling back the net when all of a sudden, they saw a sheet of flame belch out from the
engine room through the adjacent pilot house. Capt. Parisi was unable to
say what the cause was, it happened so quickly. He grabbed a fire extinguisher and
exhausted its contents on the flame. The men worked feverishly in an effort to down
the flames, but the latter proved too much for them. A half hour later when the cause
showed itself hopeless. Capt. Parisi ordered the men into the dories they
One of the dories cracked forward when put into the water, and sprung a leak in the bow
section. Randazza and Loiacano nevertheless got into the
after section of the dory to lift its bow up out of the water, while the other three got
into the second dory. They were armed with flashlights, the only belongings they could
save, and sent the flashlight beams in order to attract attention from neighboring fishing
Capt. Parisi had the two dories stay near the burning craft, realizing
that the fire would bring help to them. They were in the dories about 40 minutes when
along came the Gloucester dragger Salvatore and Grace with Capt.
Sebastiano Aiello in command. Capt. Aiello and his men
took the five men aboard and brought them of Gloucester.
Capt. Aiello said that when he saw the flames in the distance, he at
first thought it was a fire ashore but as they got in closer they noticed that the flames
seemed to be moving. The skipper and crew knew then that the fire had to be of a boat and
they lost no time in getting to the scene. They picked out the crew-filled dories by the
signaling of the flashlights.
The Coast Guard patrol boat Gen. Greene in command of Chief
Boatswain Aksel F. Jorgensen, USCG, left here shortly after 9
oclock last night on a call from Coast Guard division headquarters at Boston, and
made an effort to salvage the stricken dragger. They were informed that the crew had been
saved. They reached the boat about 10.30 oclock, lashed alongside her, and boarded
the burning craft. On their arrival, the whole afterend of the boat was gutted out. The
fuel tanks had burst from the excessive heat, and oil was burning on the boat, sending up
a great flame. They fought the blaze with foamite but the fire had had too much headway.
Two large holes had been burned through the boat above the waterline in the stern. The
seas were pouring into the craft.
For 90 minutes, the Coast Guardsmen worked valiantly in their attempts to save the boat
but it was of no use, and at 12.10 this morning, the vessel still afire, sank in 50
fathoms of water.