Investigation into sunken fishing boat could take months

MICHAEL KENT/Courtesy photo. The dragger Emmy Rose, seen in Gloucester Harbor earlier this year, sank Monday, with four crewmen aboard. One of fishermen was Michael Porper of Gloucester.

An investigation into what caused the fishing vessel Emmy Rose carrying four fishermen to sink off Cape Cod will likely take weeks or months, the Coast Guard said Friday.

The boat sank off Provincetown early Monday en route to Fisherman's Wharf Gloucester to land a 45,000- to 50,000-pound catch.

Members of Gloucester and Maine's fishing communities have been raising money for the families of the men lost at sea, who were Michael Porper of Gloucester, and Peaks Island, Maine, and skipper Robert Blethen, Jeff Matthews and Ethan Ward, all of Maine.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Amanda Wyrick said the cause of the sinking remained undetermined on Friday. The first Coast Guard crews to arrive on the scene discovered only debris and an empty life raft. The Coast Guard called off the search for the men on Tuesday evening after covering 2,066 square miles of sea over more than 38 hours. Station Gloucester's patrol boat Key Largo and its crew participated in the search.

The men were an experienced fishing crew that was bringing groundfish such as cod and haddock back into port, people familiar with the vessel have said. The vessel was based in Portland, Maine.

The investigation into the sinking could yield findings that can be used for updating policies and preventing future at-sea disasters, Wyrick said.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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