Families of sunk fishing vessel Emmy Rose crew receive nearly $ 1 million
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A judge has awarded nearly $ 1 million in damages to the families of four fishermen who died when their boat mysteriously sank off Massachusetts in 2020.
The Portland, Maine-based Emmy Rose, measuring 82 feet (25 meters), broke down in early November 23, 2020, as it made its way to port after a seven-day fishing trip, said the National Transportation Safety Board. Authorities previously said he was heading to Gloucester, Massachusetts.
A total of $ 960,000 in insurance products from the boat owner, Boat Aaron & Melissa Inc., was distributed to families by US District Judge John Woodcock in an order on Wednesday, the Portland Press Herald reported.
The families agreed to accept the money in exchange for an order relieving the owner of any additional liability. The judge also exonerated the owner.
Woodcock wrote that every man died “an unspeakably tragic and terrible death.”
“Again, there is no evidence of how the ship sank and it is possible that it sank suddenly and without warning, but it is more likely that there was some period of panic because the sailors worked in horrible conditions to prevent his and their terrible deaths, ”Woodcock wrote.
The vessel made no distress calls. The Coast Guard searched over 2,200 square miles over a 38-hour period, but found nothing more than a field of debris, the smell of diesel fuel, a distress beacon and an empty life raft.
The crew – Captain Robert Blethen Jr., of Georgetown, Maine; Jeffrey Matthews, of Portland, Maine; Ethan Ward, of Pownal, Maine; and Michael Porper, of Gloucester, Massachusetts – has never been found.
The Emmy Rose was found in May, upright with its stabilizers deployed, in about 800 feet of water on the seabed about 25 miles off Provincetown, Massachusetts, the NTSB said.
Federal authorities partnered with the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in September to inspect the sunk ship using a remote-controlled vehicle. The vehicle produced high resolution videos and photos which are used by investigators trying to determine why the vessel sank.
Porper’s fiancee Ashley Gross said in a statement provided by her lawyer that she felt the judge had done a fair job in dividing the limited insurance between the four families.
“There is no amount of money that will bring back my friends and my fiancé,” she said Thursday. “The judgment does not bring us closure but brings some peace of mind that Michael may have contributed to the future of his daughters.”
An email was left with the lawyer representing the owner of the Emmy Rose on Friday.