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Pamlico County Boat Sinks Off of NJ
7 Crew Were On Board, Only 1 Survivor So Far
March 25, 2009

Update: 6:04p Wednesday Brothers Roy Smith, Jr. and Tim Smith have been identified as the two men who died yesterday. The four other crew members who remain lost at sea have been identified. They are: Bernie “Tarzan” Smith, captain of the boat and uncle to the two Smith brothers, Frank Reyes, William Torres and Frenki Credle.


A Pamlico County scallop boat sank about 75 miles off of Cape May, New Jersey Tuesday. Seven men had been on board the 71-foot scallop boat “Lady Mary” when it went down in the frigid Atlantic waters while hauling in a catch around 5am.

The fishing vessel Lady Mary is at left in this photo taken at Cape May Harbor in 2004. The Pamlico County based vessel sank Tuesday off the New Jersey coast. (photo provided by the US Coast Guard/Seaman Daniel Kehlenbach)

The Coast Guard continued to search Wednesday for four of the crew.

Three crew were recovered yesterday. One of them was dead at the scene, another died at the hospital. So far, only crew member Jose Arias, has survived. He reportedly told the Coast Guard that all seven crew members had put on survival suits before the “Lady Mary” sank.

One family is especially hit hard by the tragedy. The “Lady Mary” is owned by Roy Smith, Sr. of Mesic, who was here in North Carolina at the time of the sinking and rushed up to Cape May on hearing of the loss.

Roy Smith’s sons — Roy Smith, Jr and Tim Smith — and Roy Smith, Sr’s brother — Bernie Smith, the “Lady Mary”‘s captain — were on board.

According to a Philadelphia Inquirer account of the sinking, the other fishing boats at Cape May stayed in port yesterday out of respect for the missing fishermen. An update on the Inquirer story can be found here.

Posted Wednesday March 25, 2009 by Melinda Penkava

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