U.S. Coast Guard Northeast recovered the bodies of Arnold “Joe” Nickerson IV, 60, of Arundel and sternman Christopher Pinkham, 44, of Boothbay Harbor Jan. 23 about 45 miles southeast of Portland after fishing vessel Hayley Ann reportedly sank. The vessel’s emergency beacon sent out a distress signal at 12:23 p.m. said USCG public affairs Petty Officer Zachary Hupp.
The Coast Guard responded from AIRSTA Cape Cod, Massachusetts with two Sikorsky MH-60 Jayhawks, one EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentry and cutter Steelhead, said USCG Northeast in a 2:24 p.m. tweet. A tweet at 4:14 p.m. said Good Samaritan fishing vessel Ella Christine recovered the bodies around 1:45 p.m. and crews coordinated transport to shore.
At 7:25 p.m., USCG released two back-to-back tweets: “Upon arriving on scene, an USCGNortheast air rescue crew in an HC-144 observed a sinking fishing boat and a floating life raft. Approximately 20 minutes later, a rescue helicopter crew arrived on scene. The helicopter crew observed 2 people in the water. A rescue swimmer was lowered into the water. The swimmer was able to confirm that the raft was empty, and the 2 people in the water were unresponsive ...”
Friday morning, Hupp confirmed the Hayley Ann as a fishing vessel out of Kennebunkport and that the accident was still under investigation.