Out of Gloucester


July 6, 1953

Crew of 7 Saved As Dragger Sinks

Seven Gloucestermen were rescued Saturday noon from the foundering 81-foot ocean perch dragger Olivia Brown, 45 miles southeast of Seal Island, near Shelburne, N. S.  The Gloucester dragger Edith L. Boudreau was the rescue ship.  The Brown, a 26-year-old craft, sank at 1 o'clock, within an hour of foundering.

The rescued crew were brought into Gloucester at 6 o'clock Sunday evening aboard the Boudreau.  The Olivia Brown, built in Essex in 1927 was valued at $100,000 and the loss was partially covered by insurance.

The rescued were:

Capt. John M. Fragata, 59 years, owner-master
David J. Pino, 59 years, engineer
Marques Vinho, 54 years, cook
John F. Fragata, 24 years, son of the skipper
Edward S. Fragata, 24, skipper's cousin
Joseph E. Santos, 53 years
Antonio O. Dias, 23 years

The Olivia Brown left Gloucester Friday, June 26 for an ocean perch trip.  They had 50,000 pounds perch aboard Saturday noon and were fishing on what Gloucestermen call "Western Hole," a favored perch spot off the southwest tip of Nova Scotia, at the position where the Brown foundered.

Engineer Pino said all was right when he left the engine room at noon to answer the cook's bell for dinner.   "We had just started to make another set for redfish," he said.   "After dinner I went back to the engine room, and I could just hear a bubbling.  Then I saw water fly back of the engine room.  I stopped right short.   Then I realized she was leaking bad.  The dragger seemed to have opened up around the sleeve.  I told the skipper and he got the three bilge pumps going and started the deck pump.  But all of them together couldn't keep the Brown afloat.

"It was rough at the time, and a southwest wind was kicking up around 20 miles an hour.  The breeze was sharp.   Capt. Fragata ordered us to launch our two dories and get into them.  She had started to founder at 12 noon.  We rowed about a half mile off.   At 1 o'clock Saturday noon, we saw the Olivia Brown roll sideways and then go down stern first."

The dragger Edith L. Boudreau, Capt. David J. Riberio in command, was fishing about a half mile away.   Capt. Fragata had tried to raise the Boudreau by radio telephone but apparently there was reception trouble.  However the Boudreau's gang saw that something was wrong with the Brown and they hauled back the net and came over to speak their friends.  The Boudreau took Capt. Fragata and his men aboard and though she had but a half trip, 50,000 pounds perch aboard, she turned her prow Gloucester-ward to set the shipwrecked men back to their waiting families here.  They docked at United Fisheries Co. wharf, east end of Main Street at 6 last evening.

The Olivia Brown was built back in 1927 for Capt. Brown, now retired from fishing and operating a restaurant, formerly Cameron's.  In the Olivia Brown, Capt. Frank Brown was high-line redfish producer out of Gloucester in the early 40's.


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