May 16 - 1935: Marconi Station in Wellfleet and WCC in Chatham aid in schooner's rescue

Fishing schooner jams prop in nets 100 miles east of Cape Cod
A typical Grand Banks fishing schooner of the era. NOAA photo.

One of the earliest uses of ship-to-shore radio

Cutter sent to help vessel with fouled propeller

On this day in 1935 a Grand Banks fishing schooner, the Babe Sears, got its propeller snarled in a fishing net 100 miles east of Cape Cod. She hailed a passing merchant ship to ask for help from the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis which subsequently towed her into Boston.

Read the newspaper report from that day below. 

The Marconi Station in Wellfleet and WCC in Chatham Port were still relatively new aids to mariners back then, and the old schooners seldom had radios aboard, but the merchant ship did have one and radioed the Cape stations for help.

The Grand Banks Schooner

5-16-8-schooner_trouble_327

As the New England fishing industry grew in the 18th and 19th centuries, so

did other related industries and technology. Once the US gained independence, New England soon became a commercial power. This affluence can be attributed to fishing and the ever-improving design of the schooner.

The fishing schooner had been invented in 1713, and their design gradually improved, allowing for faster travel and larger catches. Support industries also prospered by making gear, boat parts, and tools for the fishermen.

As fishing techniques evolved, so did society.  The graceful, elegant schooner shown above is among the ultimate in that class which was made obsolete by gas powered fishing boats.

Read more about schooners here.

 


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