Vessel in Pt. Judith Sinking Had Dark Past

Background: Breachway leading to Point Judith Pond, where the Damariscotta sank just off the state pier.

New England Boating has learned via an article in the Gloucester Times that the commercial fishing boat Damariscotta, which recently sank in 12 feet of water in Point Judith, is actually the same boat (then named the Heather Lynne II) on which 3 fishermen died in 1996 when the boat capsized after running afoul of a tug cable off Cape Ann.

Chart of Pt. Judith.

The tragedy sparked an investigation into the delayed response by the Coast Guard. After the incident, the boat was salvaged and renamed the Lisa Ann, then renamed the Damariscotta a few years later. The boat was also featured in the book by Kate Yeomans called Dead Men Tapping-The End of the Heather Lynne II.

Here’s an excerpt from the Gloucester Times article:

The sea has claimed the Heather Lynne II, for a second time.

Almost two decades ago, the 45-foot fishing vessel was a star in Newburyport’s fishing fleet, harvesting its catches from the rich shoals off Cape Ann.

But in the early hours of a September 1996 morning, tragedy claimed the lives of its three local crew members — Jeffrey Hutchins, Kevin Foster and John Michael Lowther — when the vessel collided with a steel tow line that connected a barge to a towboat. The Heather Lynne capsized, and its crew drowned.

Reade the full story:

Gloucester Times

New England Boating Related News Item:

Fishing Vessel Sinks in Point Judith Harbor

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