GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 18, 2012

Coast Guard suspends for missing scallop boat for the night

By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer

---- — The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the third day of searching Massachusetts Bay for the 45-foot Foxy Lady II, a scalloping boat that did not return from a day of fishing on Stellwagen Bank on Saturday.

The search will resume tomorrow, and — according to Jolena Rogers of Gloucester, first cousin of the captain, Wally “Chubby” Gray Jr., 26, of Deer Isle, Maine — Gray’s father, Wally Gray, was en route by boat from Maine to join the search.
The other member of the crew was identified by Rogers as Wayne Young, 50, also of Deer Isle. The Foxy Lady II, however, makes Gloucester its home port.
Rogers said the family had been told the Coast Guard had found no sign of the Foxy Lady II. Three U.S. Coast Guard cutters from Boston were engaged in the search in Massachusetts Bay for the 45-foot Gloucester-based scalloping boat.

Coast Guard Sector Boston Search and Rescue officer Robert Scott said the agency is using the operative theory that the boat lost power and is being pushed by the wind and currents to shore.

The search efforts have covered more than 360 square miles and have continued for more than 24 hours

An air search will begin as soon as the weather allows, he said. Weather conditions today on scene were 8 to 10 foot seas, 15 to 20 knot winds and less than one mile visibility. Searching today are the crews of the Coast Guard cutters Spencer, Sanibel and Bainbridge Island.

The Foxy Lady II’s EPIRB — or emergency position-indicating radio beacon, which is designed to begin transmitting when it hits the water — has not been transmitting, which Search and Rescue considers a reason for optimism, Scott said this morning.

The VMS — or vessel monitoring system — which periodically emits radio signals to the Coast Guard for search and rescue and regulatory oversight was last positioned 15 miles north of Provincetown Saturday night.

Gray was text messaging his girlfriend through noon Saturday, according to the Coast Guard. The weather was clear and windy around Cape Cod on Saturday, but degenerated into rain on Sunday and rain and heavy showers have spread across the region since then.

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Richard Gaines can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3464, or rgaines@gloucestertimes.com. .