Wreckage of lost Maine-based vessel Emmy Rose found

Published on
May 31, 2021

The wreckage of the Maine, U.S.A.-based F/V Emmy Rose has reportedly been located off the coast of Massachusetts six months after it disappeared with four crew.

New Hampshire, U.S.A.-based Klein Marine Systems announced on Monday, 24 May, it completed the search for the Emmy Rose after covering a 5.5-mile area using side-scan sonar. The company reported that it worked with the U.S. Coast Guard, NOAA, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary to conduct the search, locating the wreckage northeast of Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The 82-foot groundfish trawler had been bound for Gloucester, Massachusetts, to off-load on Monday, 23 November, 2020. More than 36 hours and 2,066 square miles later, the Coast Guard suspended its active search on the evening of Tuesday, 24 November.

Presumed lost with the vessel were Robert Blethen Jr. of Georgetown, Maine; Jeff Matthews of Portland, Maine; Ethan Ward, of Pownal, Maine; and Mike Porper, of Gloucester, Massachusetts and Peaks Island, Maine.

“Our commitment to our coastal communities does not stop at the sanctuary’s boundaries,” Pete DeCola, superintendent of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, said in a statement released by Klein Marine Systems. “We are humbled to have supported the search for the ship, along with our partner, Mind Technology (Klein), and hope that its discovery will bring some measure of closure to the families of those who perished.”

NOAA reported the wreckage was found on Thursday, 20 May. Searchers used higher resolution sonar to confirm its location on Friday, 21 May, according to Portland, Maine-based media outlet WABI.

“These four families lost a husband, a father, a son, a grandson, a brother, and a nephew right before the holidays,” a GoFundMe set up by the Varian family stated. “These four men were the best out there. They will be deeply missed, but they will never be forgotten.”

The owner of the boat, Boat Aaron and Melissa Inc., filed a request with the U.S. District Court of Maine in January seeking protection from liability for deaths, injuries, or damages resulting from the sinking, calling the Emmy Rose “seaworthy, tight, staunch, strong, and fit” before its ill-fated final trip.

The NTSB and the Coast Guard will continue to investigate the sinking and will perform an analysis of the probable cause.

Reporting by Jessica Hathaway

Photo courtesy of Rink Varian

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