, Gloucester, MA

Patriot Stories

July 10, 2009

Survival suit from Patriot recovered

Found off Wellfleet, Coast Guard investigators take possession

A survival suit believed to be that of Matteo Russo, whose fishing boat Patriot sank in January under still unknown circumstances, has been recovered off the Cape Cod shore by a lifeguard.

The suit, enclosed in an orange bag with no signs of being worn before entering the water, was spotted floating in the surf Monday between Lecount Hollow and Marconi beaches on the Atlantic coast of Wellfleet, about halfway up the forearm of the Cape, the Coast Guard confirmed yesterday.

After pulling it from the water between 20 and 30 feet from the beach, the lifeguard found the name Russo on the suit, according to Angela Sanfilippo, president of the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association.

The suit was taken to Wellfleet Police and is now in the possession of Coast Guard investigators working to determine what sank the Patriot and took the life of the 36-year-old Russo and his mate and father-in-law John Orlando, 59.

A spokeswoman for the Coast Guard yesterday would not confirm whether the suit was believed to belong to Russo, although she did acknowledge that it had been taken by investigators working on the Patriot case. Wellfleet Police were also unable to confirm whether the suit could be identified.

No other items or debris are known to have been recovered in the area near where the suit was found.

Sanfilippo announced news of the suit's recovery to those gathered in support of the fishing industry, including scores of fishermen and their families, at a Gloucester vigil Wednesday night, hours after she was contacted by the lifeguard's family about the discovery.

"Every time something happens, it relives it," Sanfilippo said by phone yesterday about the grief the Patriot's loss has caused family of the crew and fellow Gloucester fishermen.

Sanfilippo said she contacted the Coast Guard about the suit yesterday morning.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Patriot Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow