By Richard Gaines
---- — The U.S. Coast Guard continued an air and sea search along the inshore waters of Massachusetts Bay today for two scallop fishermen whose boat the Foxy Lady II has been unaccounted for since mid-day Saturday.
The vessel’s orange rescue pod, resembling an astronaut’s recovery capsule, was found in a Saugus marsh at dark Tuesday, but the family of the captain, Wally “Chubby” Gray Jr., 26 of Deer Isle, Maine, continued to hold out hope today that Gray and his mate on the trip, Wayne Young, 50, also of Deer Isle, will be found alive perhaps with wreckage or at the 45-foot boat, said Jolena Rogers of Gloucester.
Rogers, Capt. Gray’s first cousin, said the Foxy Lady II had “other life saving equipment.”
“We’re trying to stay hopeful,” Rogers said, “but finding the pod ... you know ...”
The Coast Guard had a helicopter and two cutters looking for the boat and the fishermen as the weather deteriorated, with winds of more than 20 miles per hour accross the bay. At its last last known location, and as of Saturday midday, the Foxy Lady II was nearly due east of Boston and equidistant between Provincetown and Gloucester, where the boat is home-ported, according the Coast Guard.
Despite previous reports, the Coast Guard said it has not been able to connect fishing gear which washed up on the Hull shoreline late Tuesday to the scallop boat.
Angela Sanfilippo, president of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association, said Cape Ann Fresh Catch, the boat to consumer non-profit fish distributor, buys its scallops from the Foxy Lady II.
Sanfilippo said the association has set up a fund for the families of the crew. Contributions can be made at BankGloucester, 160 Main St., Gloucester, MA 01930.
The Foxy Lady II was on a day trip from Gloucester, and the VMS, or vessel monitoring system, on the boat transmitted its last position Saturday night. Gray was text messaging his girlfriend through midday Saturday, according to the Coast Guard.
The boat was carrying the required EPIRB, an emergency position-indicating radio beacon, which is programmed to begin emitting a electronic signal once it touches the water — but it has not been transmitting, Coast Guard officials have said..
The search has been concentrated toward the Massachusetts Bay shoreline due to the strong onshore winds and currents as well as the discovery of the rescue pod.
“Our efforts are directed closer to shore,” Petty Officer Adam Stanton said at noon today.
We will update this story here at gloucestertimes.com as more information becomes available. 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 at firstname.lastname@example.org.