March 21, 2017
By Patrick Flynn
A tag from a fishing boat that famously survived the Perfect Storm off the US coast in 1991, has washed up on a beach in Co Clare.
The tragedy, which resulted in the loss of the fishing vessel Andrea Gail and her crew, was later featured in a film starring George Clooney.
The last vessel to communicate with the Andrea Gail was her sister ship the Hannah Boden which at the time was skippered by Linda Greenlaw. Both boats had been fishing off Massachusetts when they encountered a raging storm which eventually sank the Andrea Gail.
The Hannah Boden remains in active service to this day and it was a tag from one of her lobster pots that was discovered on Fanore beach by beachcomber Liam McNamara last Tuesday.
Liam made contact with a crew member from the Hannah Boden who confirmed that the tag was from the vessel. The tag travelled over 5,000 kilometres across the Atlantic from the US coast but may have been lost overboard between 10 and 15 years ago. Liam said: “It is in fact a tag from the now very famous New England boat, the Hannah Boden, which survived “The Perfect Storm” of 1991 while her sister boat the Andrea Gail which was lost at sea with all hands. A stern man from Linda’s boat has confirmed the tag and license number with Linda herself and confirmed it as being from her boat. I posted it on my Beachcombing page and shared it on some of the USA lobster and commercial fishing sites in the hope of getting it positively identified,” he said.
In September 2015, a United States Coast Guard (USCG) life ring was found on the Clare coast thousands of kilometres where from it was lost overboard in Florida.The life ring, and attached strobe light unit and emergency beacon, were washed up near Byrnes Cove in Kilkee and spotted by the crew of the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter. The US Coast Guard later confirmed the equipment to be from a Response Boat Small Class 25ft from Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral in Florida. Port Canaveral is located 3,900 miles (6,276 kilometres) from Kilkee where the items were discovered.