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Doomed Scallop Boat Was To Head Home Day It Sank

A scallop boat that sank off the New Jersey coast in March, killing six of the seven crew members on board, was supposed to return to port that same day.

Capt. Royal Smith Sr. broke down at a Coast Guard hearing Tuesday as he testified that the Lady Mary was just a few bags short of what its crew wanted to get from the sea before heading back to its berth in Cape May.

Smith became emotional and was unable to continue, prompting a recess in the hearing.

He lost two sons in the March 24 tragedy and two other family members, all who were from Pamlico County.

Smith's lawyer says he thinks the vessel was struck by another boat, which left the scene. That scenario is one of several the Coast Guard is evaluating.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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