Last week’s snow storm, which left a trail of dead throughout New England, nearly claimed a local victim. But Forest Eaton, South Blue Hill, did not become a statistic.
His boat did though, it sank without a trace.
Trapped aboard his 30 foot lobster boat moored at South Blue Hill when his punt broke loose, he was rescued nearly five hours later by Walter Woods, South Blue Hill.
Woods braved the 10-foot sea running before heavy winds to take Eaton off the boat.
Eaton was first discovered missing about noon, having last been seen early in the morning. Woods found him aboard the boat where Eaton had gone earlier to bail.
With the help of Carl Hodgdon, South Blue Hill, Woods launched a rowboat and made for the moored vessel.
Eaton, trying to keep warm in the sub-zero cold, kept gasoline burning in a can in the cabin. He had not started his motor and made for a sheltered shore because if something had gone wrong, no one would know where he was.
The situation was becoming desperate, however, as the heavy seas and the turn of the tide had already dragged the boat five or six hundred yards.
Because of the high wind, Woods had time for just one pass by the lobster boat. Eaton jumped and made the boat safely.
Not being able to put back into shore at the South Blue Hill landing, Woods rowed aslant the wind to Herman’s Point, where the boat was beached.
During the night the wind shifted to off-shore, and Tuesday morning there was no trace of the lobster boat. It was believed the wind shift, coupled with the high tide, blew the boat out to deep water. As she was starting to ice up when Eaton was rescued, it was believed she sank tipped and sank in the heavy seas.
Eaton’s punt, which had broken loose, stranding the fisherman, was found later on the North Brooklin shore, undamaged.
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