, Gloucester, MA

December 9, 2012

Letter: Remembering a hero, and the Little Flower

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

One summer morning, in June 1981, our fishing vessel, Madonna deLagrasse, was 100 miles at sea when we received a distress call from Mike, the captain of the fishing vessel Little Flower: The boat was sinking.

My brother Tony Tocco, the captain, sounded the alarm so as to hall back the net. As we reached the Little Flower, all the crew was in safety suits and ready to jump overboard, but then climbed aboard our ship.

The captain, who was still in the pilot house, refused to leave and was yelling that he was not getting off his boat. With that, my brother, Tony, jumped onto his boat, went up to the pilot house and grabbed Mike. A struggle began as the captain was in shock and incoherent at this time.

Now, seeing this, Tony’s crew all jumped aboard and had a tug-of-war getting Mike out of the pilot house. Dragging Mike down the stairs and over the rails to our boat, the Little Flower was now sinking fast from the stern first.

All were safe now as we moved away. I was taking pictures as she sank into the deep sea.

That day, my brother was a hero in my eyes. Thanks for being my brother.