Out of Gloucester


Thursday, September 28, 1978

Three Men on Overdue Boat

Canadian and U.S. Coast Guard planes re-searched from Gloucester to Nova Scotia today for the 52-foot Gloucester fishing vessel, Alligator.

The vessel and crew of three were reported overdue yesterday after they failed to return as scheduled Tuesday from what was to be a two day trip to Seal Island, Nova Scotia. The Coast Guard search began at noon yesterday after Gloucester fisherman Frank Santuccio reported skipper Carlo Sinagra and his crew of James Sinagra and Glen Guittarr overdue. Following established search and rescue procedure, ports along the Massachusetts, Maine and Canadian coast were checked. Reports were negative and a plane Cape Cod Station to search for the boat. Canadian Coast Guard planes also joined the search, according to the U.S. Coast Guard spokesman David Harris.

This morning, one fixed-wing plane from Elizabeth City, N.J. and a helicopter from Cape Cod were in the air searching again. More checks were being made of coastal ports in Maine into which Sinagra may have ducked to ride out rough conditions which prevailed in the Gulf of Maine for most of the week.
Sources in Nova Scotia said the Alligator had taken on a load of swordfish Monday and had headed back. One theory that would explain the Alligator's failure to return on schedule was that it took the long route home along the coast rather than sailing directly across open ocean from southern Nova Scotia. But Coast Guard stations all along the Maine coast have been calling for the vessel on emergency radio frequencies for the past day and almost certainly would have been heard by the vessel if its radios were working. Inshore fishermen who work with the Alligator say the vessel's radios were old and had difficulty transmitting long distances, thus, they say the alligator could have heard the calls but could not respond.

As recorded as follow up in the Times on Friday the 29th, 1978

The coast Guard resumed its search this morning for the missing fishing vessel Alligator, three days overdue on a trip from Nova Scotia. Yesterday's efforts were hampered severely by heavy fog that grounded the three planes assigned to search from Seal Island, Nova Scotia to Gloucester Harbor. The search was called off for the day after only three hours. This morning, the search area was expanded to include all of the Gulf of Maine and waters to the south from Chatham east onto Georges Bank.

Skies were clear and the search team was increased to three Coast Guard planes, one Air Force, surveillance jet, a Canadian Coast Guard plane and the cutter Duane. Fishing vessels in the Gulf of Maine and Bay of Fundy. have been alerted to be on the lookout for the missing vessel.

Capt. Carlo Sinagra, 48, and his crew of James Sinagra, 55 and Glen Guittarr, 26, left Gloucester Sunday on what was planned to be a two-day run to Seal Island to pick up swordfish and transport it back.

The vessel's route may have been lengthened by a storm that blew up in the Gulf of Maine earlier this week. Some fishermen familiar with conditions in the waters between here and Nova Scotia think the 52-foot steel-hulled dragger may have become disabled while on a run straight for Gloucester from Nova Scotia. Others think Sinagra may have chosen to take the longer coastal route. So far, there has been no sign of the vessel along either course and the search continues.

The Alligator and its crew of three men were never heard from again.


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