National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Fishermen can be superstitious. For example, they won't leave port on the 13th of any month. Nor do they set sail on a Friday. To do so would be to court disaster. And leaving on Friday the 13th? That would be tempting fate.

However, the three-man crew of the 58-foot Endorphin was already eight days into a fishing trip last week when trouble struck on — yep — Friday the 13th. The boat was heading back to Montauk, N.Y., that day when the boat's main engine died and the crew lost their generator to boot. Crew member Christopher Fallon told Long Island Newsday that they were without the generator, lights, food or heat for about 24 hours.

Fortunately, the crew's luck that day eventually changed. A nearby good Samaritan vessel arrived on the scene, and was able to keep Endorphin in contact with the Coast Guard. However, the good Samaritan boat couldn't tow Endorphin to safety because of the weather conditions; reportedly seas that afternoon were 8 to 13 feet with winds of 35 knots.

But a Coast Guard aircraft was able to drop supplies, including food, water, and a handheld radio to Endorphin, now stranded some 86 miles southeast of Montauk as seen in this brief Coast Guard video shot by Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta Disco on the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma.

Happily, Tahoma, which arrived late Friday night, was able to start towing Endorphin home; a rescue boat from the Montauk Coast Guard station relieved the Maine-based cutter upon arriving at Montauk Inlet. The rescue boat brought Endorphin and her crew safely to port ahead of Saturday's storm.

It may be awhile before Endorphin gets to go out again. Vessel owner Robert Fallon, Christopher's father, told Newsday the boat's engine must be rebuilt this winter. But when Endorphin does head out again, what are the odds that it will do so on a  Friday?

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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