Organization may buy more boats for Japan tsunami relief

Posted Oct. 19, 2011, at 5:29 a.m.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — A relief organization that facilitated construction of boats for Japanese fishermen hurt by the tsunami may increase its initial order of 20 boats from a Maine company.

Operation Blessing International is paying General Marine Inc. of Biddeford $224,000 for 20 boats, which will be shipped via containers to Japan. The organization worked with two fishing Japanese guilds that together lost 5,000 boats to ensure that the 19-foot boats are designed to meet the specific needs of Japanese fishermen.

General Marine owner Stacey Raymond has said the initial order will enable the company to hire back six to eight workers. An Operation Blessing International spokesman said the organization hopes to place additional boat orders over the next 12 months.

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