PORTLAND, Maine — A judge has awarded nearly $1 million in damages to the families of four fishermen who died when their boat mysteriously sank off the Massachusetts coast in 2020.
The 82-foot Portland, Maine-based Emmy Rose went down early Nov. 23, 2020, as it was heading to port after a seven-day fishing trip, the National Transportation Safety Board said. Authorities had previously said it was heading to Gloucester, Massachusetts.
A total of $960,000 in insurance proceeds from the boat owner, Boat Aaron & Melissa Inc., was distributed among the families by U.S. District Judge John Woodcock in an order Wednesday, The Portland Press Herald reported.
The families agreed to accept the money in exchange for an order releasing the owner from further liability. The judge also exonerated the owner.
Woodcock wrote that each man died “an unspeakably tragic and terrible death.”
“Again, there is no evidence about how the vessel went down and it is possible that it sank suddenly and without warning, but it is more likely that there was some period of panic as the seamen worked in horrific conditions to avoid its and their awful demise,” Woodcock wrote.