In Remembrance – Recalling the Heather Lynne II

Sometime before dawn on Sept. 5, 1996, the Heather Lynne II — a 45-foot fishing boat out of Newburyport — capsized off the coast of Cape Ann when it struck a long cable connecting a 272-foot barge to the tugboat it was towing, Capt. Jeffrey Hutchins and his two-man crew of Kevin Foster and John Michael Lowther were trapped, but alive, for some time in the overturned hull of the Heather Lynne II, 10 miles off Gloucester. A diminishing air pocket kept the boat from sinking and provided hope of survival for the three fishermen trapped inside. Their shouted pleas and desperate tapping could be heard by would-be rescuers who began to gather around them. But as boats came to the ship’s aid, they were directed to wait for the Coast Guard and a dive team to conduct the rescue effort. By the time the Coast Guard arrived, the three fishermen had drowned, leaving their families heartbroken and leading to an investigation of the Coast Guard’s conduct and delayed response in the rescue. Twenty years later, many who knew the lost crew of the Heather Lynne II still feel the pain, in part because it is unclear exactly what took place after the pre-dawn collision. Read this story here with images  07:13