4 Maine fishermen were on boat that sank off Massachusetts

4 Maine fishermen were on boat that sank off Massachusetts
After searching an area of approximately 2,066 square miles for more than 38 hours off Provincetown, the Coast Guard said it was suspending the search for four missing crew members of the Emmy Rose. (USCG Northeast)

The missing men who were on a commercial fishing boat that sank off Massachusetts this week were all Maine fishermen, authorities said.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday it has called off the search for the crew of the Portland-based Emmy Rose that sank early Monday morning when it was en route to Gloucester, Massachusetts.

The Sustainable Harvest Sector, a group of 100 fishing vessel owners and operators, identified the crew members as Robert Blethen; Jeff Matthews; Michael Porpa and Ethan Ward.

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The sector said in a statement that it would release information about memorial services for the fishermen when they are available.

“Four brave men of the sea were lost,” the statement said.

The fishermen were harvesting groundfish such as haddock. The cause of the sinking of the 82-foot (25-meter) vessel remains undetermined.

The boat was owned by Rink Varian, who was not onboard and has described the sinking as a terrible accident.

The crew did not make any sort of mayday or distress call, and the Coast Guard was alerted when the vessel’s emergency beacon made contact with the water and sent out its signal, the Coast Guard has said.

The first Coast Guard crews on the scene discovered debris and an empty life raft.


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