July 7, 1953
Captain Is Lost At Sea
Capt. J. O. "Dick" Bunting,
43 years, of Jeffs Postoffice, Virginia, master of the auxiliary fishing dragger
P. K. Hunt, was lost overboard from the dragger last Friday morning off
Shelburne, N. S.
The Hampton, Va., ocean perch dragger, here
for summer fishing, arrived in port yesterday morning, her flag at half-mast in honor of
her late skipper. Mate James Sheaves was at the wheel. Mate Sheaves
and others of the crew went to Coast Guard headquarters at Boston yesterday
afternoon and related the story of the tragedy to Coast Guard and FBI officials.
Both government agencies then declared the shipper's death as accidental by drowning.
The P. K. Hunt was
towing the drag at the time, about 10.30 o'clock Friday forenoon off Nova Scotia, when the
late Capt. Bunting, standing by the rail. lost his balance and fell
overboard as the dragger lurched.
It was foggy at the time, and there was some
seas according to report. One of the crew in the pilot house saw the skipper as he
fell overboard, and immediately notified the gang. They could see him in the water
for a moment, weighted down with boots and clothes. They threw him a lifeline but he
was unable to grab it. They lost no time in cutting away the drag and tuning the
craft about in an effort to reach the skipper but none of them saw any sight of Capt. Bunting
The late Capt. Bunting was
married and had two children. He had many friends along the Gloucester waterfront
and in town. Everyone had a good word for Dick Bunting. The
news of his loss was received here with the sincerest regret.
[At the Fishermen's Memorial ceremony on
August 9, 1953, special recognition was paid to Capt. Joseph Otis Bunting.
More than 20 relatives and friends from Virginia paid tribute to the captain, including
his wife, son, daughter, sister, and nephew. Wreaths were strewn on the water in
Capt. Bunting's memory by his son and daughter.]