SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Wednesday, Dec. 22, was a disappointing day for local fisherman Nahum Kelley. It was the day that his lobster boat sank in Southwest Harbor.
Kelley has been a longtime fisherman out of Beal’s Lobster Pier and has lived in Southwest Harbor his entire life.
During a special meeting held last Thursday, the Southwest Harbor Select Board authorized Harbormaster Oliver Curry to salvage Kelley’s boat.
“The Coast Guard didn’t want to hire anybody [for the salvage operation] so we had to ensure that with the boat being in our harbor that the public was safe,” said Select Board Chairman George Jellison.
On Monday morning, Curry had Charles Bradley Marine Construction use its barge to salvage the boat, which was still on its mooring in Southwest Harbor. The boat was then brought to the Hinckley Company boatyard, where it was removed with a travel lift.
The town of Southwest Harbor will not allocate any money for the salvage.
“Now the boat is out, and the salvage company and boatyard will be paid – we just don’t know how yet,” Curry said.
Though the town will not fund the recovery, Curry said that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has made an offer to do so.
Justin Synder, who is the dock manager at Beal’s Lobster Pier, has also started a GoFundMe page to raise $20,000 for the Kelley family. “The boat is a total loss. They will need the help this winter,” he said.
The GoFundMe page in support of the Kelley family can be found at https://tinyurl.com/2p9aa5fw.