Cutting through the fog

On the morning of Sept. 16, fog had reduced visibility to about 50 yards over the waters near Pumpkin Ledge, some nine miles south of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Seas were 3 to 5 feet with 5- to 10-knot winds when two lobster boats, the 38-foot Delusional and the 42-foot Triton, collided.

The Coast Guard received a distress call over VHF radio at about 8:15 a.m., informing them of the collision and that the 38-foot Delusional was taking on water.

Nearby lobster boats came to the assistance of the Triton’s crew and helped haul the Delusional’s skipper and sternman aboard the Triton before the Delusional sank. There were no reported injuries, and the Coast Guard is still investigating the crash.

Though the Delusional sank as a result of the collision and the fog was undoubtedly a factor, it could have been worse. As another Maine collision shows, you don’t need limited visibility to have an accident.

On June 30, 2010, a Maine lobster boat rammed another lobster boat off the western side of Schoodic Point. Visibility was good that day with 9-knot winds and 3-foot seas when the 43-foot Master Simon, heading back to port at about 1:30 p.m., slammed into the starboard side of the 34-foot Linda Diane while traveling at about 20 knots.

The Linda Diane broke in two and sank in about 85 feet of water. Her skipper, Frank Simon, was pulled from the water but declared dead at the Winter Harbor dock. His sternman sustained a head injury, while neither the Master Simon’s skipper nor sternman suffered serious injuries.

The accident occurred after the Master Simon’s skipper sat down to have a sandwich, thus no one on the Master Simon was aware they were bearing down on the Linda Diane.

About the author

Michael Crowley

Michael Crowley is the former Boats & Gear editor for National Fisherman.

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