December 20, 2013

Coast Guard ends search for Westbrook fisherman

Another man on deck jumped in after Martin Gorham, but couldn’t save him in cold, rough conditions.

By Noel K. Gallagher ngallagher@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The U.S. Coast Guard ended its search Friday for a Westbrook native who fell overboard Thursday from a Boston fishing boat about 32 miles southeast of Cape Ann, Mass.

The fisherman was Martin Gorham of Westbrook, according to his mother, Barbara Foster of South Portland.

The Coast Guard deployed several boats and helicopters to search 290 square miles around the area where Gorham, 47, went overboard midday Thursday from the 71-foot fishing boat Lydia & Maya. He was wearing orange rain pants and overcoat but no life jacket, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Myeonghi Clegg.

Gorham, 47, usually captained the boat but the owner was on board and Gorham was working on the deck, Foster said.

“It was just a freak thing. A door was supposed to be locked and it was open and he went overboard,” said Foster, who spoke to the boat owner about what happened.

Another man on deck jumped in after Gorham, but couldn’t save him in the cold, rough seas.

Seas were 2 to 4 feet with winds of 20 knots. The water temperature was 47 degrees and the air temperature was 40 degrees.

“They got to him, but they couldn’t keep him. One of the waves came up and he went down,” Foster said. “The Coast Guard said they did everything they could to save him.”

Clegg said the case remains under investigation. The search was suspended at 10:42 a.m.

Foster has a wife, Marcia Gorham, a daughter, Callie Gorham, and two stepsons, Justin and Christopher Marston.

Gorham said her son has been fishing since he was a teenager, and had been on the Lydia & Maya for years.

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