Web exclusive, December 20, 2012
Coast Guard calls off search for local fishermen
by Jessica Brophy
At 5:55 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19, the U.S. Coast Guard station in Massachusetts called off the search for the Foxy Lady II, reported overdue on Monday, December 17, according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard.
The 45-foot Foxy Lady II is crewed by Island fishermen Captain Wally “Chubby” Gray, 25, and crewman Wayne Young, 50. The boat was scallop fishing out of its home port of Gloucester.
Coast Guard crews searched more than 2,800 square miles with no sign of the fishermen.
The boat’s last known location was approximately 15 miles north of Provincetown, Mass.
On Tuesday, December 18, the lifeboat registered to the Foxy Lady II was recovered in Saugus, Mass., in a marshy area along the Saugus River. According to U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Robert Simpson, there were no signs of anyone on board, or any sign that it had been used.
Fishing equipment that may belong to the vessel has been reported found on Nantasket Beach in Hull, Mass. Simpson said he did not know what equipment had been recovered and could not confirm it was from the Foxy Lady II.
The vessel was registered to have an EPIRB distress beacon which is activated by water to automatically transmit a signal. The beacon was not activated, which may indicate the vessel is still afloat, said Simpson.
On Monday night, a candlelit vigil was organized by the Rev. Stephen York through social media and email. While some gathered on the Stonington Pier for prayer and candle-lighting, many more lit candles in their homes and discussed updates with one another via Facebook.
The Island Fishermen’s Wives Association has set up a fund to help the families of Wally Gray Jr. and Wayne Young. Donations may be sent to Fishermen’s Fund, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, 25 Church St., Deer Isle, ME 04627.