- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 2, 2005

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — Five fishermen lost at sea when their scallop boat sank in a winter storm were remembered yesterday as heroes in the city synonymous with the New England fishing industry.

Family members, friends and politicians at the service — including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Rep. Barney Frank, both Massachusetts Democrats — focused their remarks on the sacrifices made by the men of the vessel Northern Edge to feed others.

“Five more men of courage and determination have gone from our midst and will not return to shore,” said the Rev. Kenneth Garrett, chaplain of New Bedford’s Seamen’s Bethel.

About 250 people filled the 173-year-old chapel, which stands at the center of the cobbled streets and 19th-century buildings that make up the New Bedford Whaling National Historic Park.

Herman Melville visited the chapel in 1841 before going on a whaling voyage, and mentioned the chapel in his classic novel “Moby-Dick.”

The Dec. 20 loss of the Northern Edge off Nantucket was the worst loss of life aboard a single vessel at sea in New England since six crew members of the Gloucester-based Andrea Gail died in 1991.

Lost at sea about 45 miles off Nantucket were Capt. Carlos Lopez, Ray Richards, Glen Crowley, Juan Flores and Eric Guillen.

The only survivor was Pedro Furtado, 22, who clung to a life raft for a half-hour in high winds and freezing temperatures before he was picked up by the crew of a nearby scallop boat.

Rescue teams searched an 1,850-square-mile area for more than 40 hours but failed to find the other crew members.

Mr. Furtado last week sued the boat’s owners in federal court, saying he was injured because the vessel was not seaworthy. The owner of the Northern Edge, K&R; Fishing Enterprises of New Bedford, moved to limit any lawsuits against the company under a provision of maritime law.

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