Monday, August 4, 2008

Skipper of Sister Ship of Belle Says Ballast Aided Performance

Boston Globe Feb. 14, 1947 Capt. Patrick McHugh of Dorchester, skipper of the trawler Josephine Ess, sister ship of the missing Boston trawler Belle, told the government inquiry yesterday into the disappearance that his vessel behaved very well at sea recently, especially since 14 tons of ballast had been added. He revealed that last December, in a 60-mile scale, the vessel "laid over" quite far and was slow to recover its balance. Capt. McHugh said he believed that all fishing vessels should be government inspected beofre they were allowed to sail. ALso heard yesterday, the fifth and last day of the inquiry, was Chief Engineer Norman Blaisdell, of the Maggie & Pat II. The information and opinions gathered in the five days of inquiry will be forwarded to Washington to the chief of the Merchant Marine Inspection Service. Capt. Charles M. Lyons, supervising Marine inspector of the United States Coast Guard, Com. Fred S. Walker and Lt. Com. James Brady heard the testimony. The inquiry was ordered after the Belle failed to arrive in port last Jan. 10 after radioing the previous day she was bound for home with 60,000 pounds of fish. Lost with the vessel were 17 Boston and Gloucester men.

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