PORT CLYDE — Whoever has been sinking Tony Hooper’s lobster boat is still out there.
They have brazenly sunk his vessel, Liberty, three times since Aug. 17, with no apparent fear of getting caught. The first time, they sent the boat 30 feet underwater. Hooper hauled it out of the water, did the necessary repairs, and got back to work. Six weeks later, they cut the boat’s hoses and bilge wires and set it adrift, to be found beached on Raspberry Island. And just days after that, they did the same thing again, leaving the Liberty to wash up, after having been submerged, on another nearby island.
Each time, Hooper, 37, of Port Clyde, has wasted little time repairing the boat and readying it for the work that supports his three young children and their mother.
“This person ain’t going to get the best of me,” he said Oct. 10 during a pause in repairs at Knight Marine Service in Rockland. His 11-year-old son was with him, running off with a stack of quarters to buy candy from a vending machine near the ferry terminal. As he ran back with the sweets, he handed one to his father, who pressed it between his teeth.