Monday, August 4, 2008

Thick Weather Today May Block Search for Trawler, 17 Men

Boston Globe Jan 14, 1947

As thick weather closed in over the North Atlantic last night, threatening to cancel another search by planes today for the Boston trawler Belle, two cutters were pressed into the four-day hunt for the missing vessel and her crew of 17.

Five Coast Guard planes flew in at dusk from a 400-mile sweep of the ocean southeast of Cape Ann without sighting the 113-foot fisherman, overdue from the Grand Banks and disabled.

While planes flew a hunt for the Belle, the Coast Guard cutter Algonquin raced from Portland, Me., to the Gloucester dragger Curlew drifting in high breaking seas 165 miles east by south of Gloucester with a cracked propeller shaft.

The skipper of the Belle, Capt. Peter Linehan of Houghs Neck, radioed last Thursday he was 100 miles east of Boston heading home with 60,000 pounds of cod. No further radio contact has been made with the trawler, and Coast Guard Air-Sea-Rescue headquarters at Boston last night believed the vessel's diesel engines as well as her radio had broken down.

The Coast Guard readied three planes to take of today from Salem and Qunoset, R.I., for a "ladder launch" to the southeast of the area swept yesterday and Saturday.

The air sweep will extend from Cashes Ledge off Cape Ann to between 150 and 175 miles off the New Jersey coast, and will complete full coverage of the ocean area between the Grand Banks and Georges.

New England State Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police report no trace of the Belle in ports of refuge harbors from New York to Nova Scotia. All ships off the Atlantic Coast have been alerted to watrch for the trawler.

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