Coast Guard Resumes Investigation Into Sinking Of Lady Mary

In the pre-dawn ocean darkness 60 miles off the New Jersey coast, the captain of a Massachusetts fishing boat heard a brief, panicked radio transmission, lasting less than a second.

The voice, with a southern accent, sounded scared and appeared to say "Mayday!"

Antonio Alvernaz, captain of the Catherine Marie, and a crew member got on the radio to ask for a repeat transmission. But nothing came back.

Alvernaz testified Monday by telephone at a Coast Guard hearing investigating the March 24 sinking of the Lady Mary, a scallop boat that went down off Cape May, killing six of the seven men aboard.

Brothers Roy Smith Jr. and Timothy Smith of Pamlico County died when the ship went down. An uncle, Tarzan "Bernie" Smith and a cousin, Frenkie Credle, were also killed.

A key piece of evidence is likely to be the boat's rudder. It was recovered along with several other items over the summer by divers.

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

The Coast Guard will resume its investigation, Monday, into the sinking of a scallop boat that killed six of the seven men aboard. Four of them were from Eastern Carolina.

The probe into the Lady Mary's demise will resume today in Cape May, New Jersey, where the boat sank on March 24.

Brothers Roy Smith Jr. and Timothy Smith of Pamlico County died when the ship went down. An uncle, Tarzan "Bernie" Smith and a cousin, Frenkie Credle, were also killed.

Divers recovered the Lady Mary's rudder this summer, along with several other items considered to be key pieces of evidence. Commercial fishermen who were working in the area when the boat went down March 24 will also be called to testify.


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