Fifty Years Ago Today: The tragic sinking of Portland scallop trawler F/V Snoopy still vivid

fv snoopyThe Associated Press reported at the time that the Snoopy was “blown to bits” in a “freak explosion.” News reports from the 1960s suggested that while fishermen would at times bring up World War II munitions in the years after the war, it was extremely rare for them to explode. While all the fishermen were from Maine, the scallop supply had depleted off the coast of Maine in the mid-1960s, and his brother and others looked to points south for better fishing, George Doody said. On the fateful trip, they trawled for scallops near the Outer Banks off North Carolina. Doody said they almost left to return to Maine the day before, but decided to stay one more day. Read the rest here

One Response to Fifty Years Ago Today: The tragic sinking of Portland scallop trawler F/V Snoopy still vivid

  1. jmknbsc . says:

    It’s kind of hard to believe that 50 years have come & gone since we lost the “Snoopy”. It was a tragic event that really made us aware of some of the possibly inherent dangers of the many munitions that we were constantly dredging up as we fished down in the Mid-Atlantic.
    A huge set of scallops were found all up & down the Mid-Atlantic coast back in 1965, & while there had been some scallops there before, it was never this much. Every scalloper on the East coast ended up fishing down there, & back then even the Canadian scallopers were allowed to fish there.
    It was a common occurrence to dredge up old munitions & store them some place on deck, so that you didn’t catch them a second or third time, so the Snoopy likely had little reason to fear the torpedo that they had caught, other than the sheer size of the thing.
    It was brutally hot down there that summer, & with few, if any, fans on the boats back then, let alone AC the crew’s quarters were stifling. As I understand it, several of the crew were resting or sleeping on the top of the whaleback, & they were among those who did survive, along with the Mate Pete Leavitt. Pete was to become a well known “high-line” scallop Captain out of New Bedford for quite a few years following the tragedy, but he never spoke of it.
    Even though 50 years have passed, it’s good to see that these men are still remembered along with all those who have given their lives at sea, while trying to earn a living by providing the people of the US with a healthful diet of protein from fresh seafood!
    “God Rest Their Souls”…
    Jim Kendall-NBSC

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