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SEARCH CALLED OFF FOR CREW OF SUNKEN FISHING VESSEL

BOSTON. On January 27, 2007 the Coast Guard began its search for the fishing vessel Lady of Grace and it four-person crew, who never arrived in New Bedford Harbor at its expected time.

Last contact with Lady of Grace was reportedly with the fishing vessel Lisa Ann II, by e-mail the night of the 26th. Lisa Ann II’s crew became concerned when the Lady of Grace did not respond to their last e-mail at around 10 pm.

The Coast Guard detected a signal from the missing boat’s vessel monitoring system transponder via satellite. The signal showed the boat was stationery and near an oil sheen, 11 nautical miles north of Nantucket. This was near the boat’s last known position. Divers later confirmed it was the Lady of Grace. The boat was found laying on its port side in 36 feet of water. There was no sign of the crew. The vessel’s one life raft was still in its case and attached to the boat, and an epirb was found lodged in an opening on the deck. No emergency signal from the epirb was ever received by the Coast Guard.

The search for the missing crewmen was officially called off at 10:40 am on January 29th. The search had involved 27 separate searches covering more than 6,300 square miles. The crew of the 75-foot dragger is identified as Antonio Barroqueiro, Rogerio Vendura, Mario Farinha, and Joao Silva. No members of the crew have yet been located.

UPDATE: On January 29th the body of Mr. Antonio Barroqueiro, 50, was recovered from the sunken vessel’s pilot house. On February 21st a second body was found in the vessel, but has not yet been identified. All accessible spaces in the vessel have now been searched, and the whereabouts of the two additional crewmembers is unknown.

Source: US Coast Guard