GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 18, 2012

Update: Emergency pod, fishing equipment for Foxy Lady II found

By Andrea Holbrook
Staff Writer

---- —

A rescue pod, marked Foxy Lady II on the side, was discovered in a Saugus marsh Tuesday evening shortly before 5, around the same time the U.S. Coast Guard was calling off the night’s search for the missing Gloucester-based scalloper and its two crew.
Emergency responders recovered the hard-shelled lifeboat, which Saugus police believe may be tied to the Foxy Lady II after receiving a call from a resident about a vessel in a waterway of the Saugus River, according to Saugus Lt. Ronald Giorgetti.
The Foxy Lady II, manned by Capt. Wally “Chubby” Gray Jr., 26, and Wayne Young, 50, both of Deer Isle, Maine, had set out for a day trip of fishing on Stellwagen Bank early Saturday morning and was to return Saturday evening. The captain’s girlfriend reported the vessel overdue to the U.S. Coast Guard on Monday morning.
Giorgetti said Saugus emergency responders found nothing else that might be related to the Foxy Lady II, but that the U.S. Coast Guard was following up Tuesday night. The U.S. Coast Guard had suspended the third day of searching Massachusetts Bay for the 45-foot scalloper around the same time, but renewed the search after the pod’s discovery. Giorgetti referred all further comment to the Coast Guard.
Reports said fishing equipment belonging to the Foxy Lady II was also found on the South Shore, on Nantasket Beach in Hull.

The Coast Guard said the search will continue Wednesday morning. Three U.S. Coast Guard cutters from Boston were engaged in the search Tuesday. The search efforts have covered more than 750 square miles; the Coast Guard said Wednesday’s search will concentrate on areas closer to the coast.

Weather conditions Tuesday on scene were 8 to 10 foot seas, 15 to 20 knot winds and less than one mile visibility. A small craft advisory, with the possibility of gale force winds, is in effect through Wednesday evening for the waters from Gloucester to Stellwagen Bank.

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, the Coast Guard 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.

The Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association is setting up a fund for the families of the crew of the Foxy Lady II to help them during this difficult time. Donations may be sent to:

Fishing Vessel Foxy Lady II Fund
Bank Gloucester 
160 Main St.
Gloucester, MA 01930

 

We will update this story here at gloucestertimes.com as more information becomes available. To have text updates regarding this story sernt to your mobile phone, just sign up for the Times’ free text-alert service on the gloucestertimes.com homepage.

For more up-to-date coverage, follow the Times news team on Facebook and on Twitter.com @gdtnews. For full coverage, look to tomorrow’s print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.

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