MACHIAS, Maine — As it routinely patrols Cobscook Bay, the U.S. Coast Guard will keep a close eye on a fuel sheen coming from a fishing vessel that sank last weekend.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Thornton, stationed in Eastport, said Monday that a “minimal slick” is coming from the submerged boat Miss Priss and that if it appears to be increasing, a specialized team from the Coast Guard station in Belfast will be called in for containment.
Three fishermen were saved Saturday afternoon by crew on a nearby fishing vessel, Nasty Too, who heard the distress call from Miss Priss.
The fishermen told the Coast Guard that Miss Priss had struck a submerged object in the area of Reversing Falls and was taking on water.
Miss Priss had approximately 150 to 200 gallons of diesel fuel on board when it sank, according to the Coast Guard.
Thornton said that any effort to raise the sunken boat would be a private effort.
Those rescued were the boat’s pilot, William Feltner Jr., and his two sternmen, Carl Sizemore and Evan Matthews. All three are from Lubec.
The men were picked up by the crew of Nasty Too, which also was fishing nearby at Reversing Falls. The area, which has treacherous tides and currents, has been the site of three fishing vessel sinkings in the past nine months. All five men on board the other boats were lost at sea.
In March 2009, the fishing vessel All American sank in the same area of Cobscook Bay, killing Loren Lank, 53, of Lubec and sternman Logan Preston, 19, of Roque Bluffs. Preston’s body has not been found.
Just four months ago, in October 2009, the fishing vessel Bottom Basher sank with three men on board, boat owner Joseph Jones, 29, of Trescott, Daryl Cline, 41, of Machiasport and Norman Johnson, 57, of Cutler. Jones’ body has not been recovered.
In the past year, two others have died at sea in the Lubec area.
In December 2008, Kristopher Fergerson, 27, of Lubec drowned while harvesting periwinkles, and in November 2009, Arthur “Skip” Calder, 51, of Perry drowned while clamming in East Bay.