Lost at Sea Part 1

Updated 5 years ago

That was the closest to death I’ve ever been. That was veryscary, very scary.William Feltner Jr. was the captain of the Miss Priss – the thirdfishing vessel to recently sink in Cobscook Bay. We were out dragging for scallops off Denbow Point, and it wasthe last day of the week and it was around noon time, and I looked atthe boys and said, What do you think, call it good?The crew decided to call it a day – and return home. “As I was coming up through the reversing falls I struck anunderwater object, and the boat immediately started taking on water,started flooding the deck. 13.) We get our safety gear out and I hadtime to put a distress call over the radio.”Luckily the crew’s call was heard by Kirby Schenks – who was on anearby boat … he jumped into his skiff and raced to the Miss Priss. “He just by the grace of God got to us and we stepped off the bowof the boat and into the skiff and backed away from the boat as itwent down.”I didn’t think we were gonna make it out of there, and if itwasn’t for Kirby we wouldn’t have. You don’t get more than fiveminutes in this water, and it starts kicking in, there isn’t much youcan do.The three men aboard the Miss Priss that day were the lucky ones … Twoother fishing vessels – with five crew members total – have met asimilar fate in that area … sadly none of the men survived…and oneof the men, Joseph Jones, remains missing. That area has been dragged for many years. That was a very tragicthing that happened to those two draggers. No one will ever know whathappened, there was no one around when they went down. 3.) It’s justspeculation that they were dragging, got caught down, and flipped theboat over.There are a lot of theories. We probably will never know. I’veheard that one of them might have been over-rigged… But again, it’sall speculation at this point.Denny’s Bay and Whiting Bay – two areas the men used to fish in -have been closed for two years for conservation purposes… Feltnerattributes his wreck – and possibly the others – to the treacherousroute the boats now must take to get to waters they can drag in… These people have to make these passages where they aren’t sosafe. Lot of tide, I mean there’s no way to go around it. FallsIsland, you take the foxtails, there’s just too much tide there asthere is going through reversing falls. There’s just no win or lose. That area you’re draining two different bays, Whiting Bay andDenny’s Bay, in six hours, and when it goes the other way you’refilling it up in six hours. There’s a lot of water moving through avery narrow spot. So in that particular area there’s a lot of current.But with no where else to fish – the men have little choice but tomake the dangerous trek. I know how hard it is on the water to make a living. It’s tough.People take a lot more chances when they’re trying to support theirfamilies. …Fishermen are fishermen, they’re gonna go back at it. I’ll go back through there again. It’s just, ya know, it’s justmy job. I got two kids, a wife, and a house, I got to keep them going.


MENU