GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Fishing Industry Stories

October 29, 2013

Rescued fisherman succumbs

Men were taking Terra Nova to be scuttled

ROCKPORT — An experienced fisherman is dead after a boat he and another crewman were taking from Gloucester to Maine, reportedly to dismantle because it was no longer seaworthy, sank this weekend.

The Provincetown-based fishing vessel Terra Nova began taking on water about three miles off the coast of Rockport around 8:30 p.m. Friday. The crew said the water pumps could not handle the load and abandoned ship.

Although both David “Oakesy” Oakes and Jason Randall were pulled from the sea around 10:30 p.m. Friday, Oakes died, according to a family member who wished not be named.

Oakes, of South Thomaston, Maine, was airlifted out of the water by a helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, said the state accepted jurisdiction of the Oakes case but the cause of death has not been determined.

Harris said it is unclear if Oakes died at the hospital, on his way to the hospital or in the water.

Meanwhile, Oakes’ son-in-law, Randall of Rockland, Maine, was rescued by Rockport Harbormasters Scott Story and Rosemary Lesch. He was taken to Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester. He has since been released.

Waves were choppy that night, reaching 4 to 6 feet in height, Lesch said. Both men were wearing emergency immersion suits when recovered.

Oakes leaves behind a loving family. Family members uploaded a digital tribute to the fisherman on YouTube. He was the owner-operater of Dirty Girl Lobster, a food transportation business based in Warren, Maine, according to government filings.

A MGH spokeswoman said Oakes was not in a “public directory,” but that did not mean he was not admitted to the hospital.

According to a prepared statement by the Coast Guard, the crew reported 6 feet of water aboard the vessel and that pumps could not keep up with the flooding.

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