It hasn’t been an easy year for Nick Masi of Biddeford.

He lost his boat and his best friend when the vessel capsized during a fishing trip in late September.

But he and two other buddies are alive today because Masi kept his wits about him when the boat was going down.

Paralyzed from the waist down since a 2007 construction accident, Masi used his radio to call the Coast Guard and give his exact coordinates about five miles off the coast of Cape Porpoise, even as waves were swamping his 24-foot Grady White, the Job Site 2, outfitted for a bluefin tuna-fishing excursion.

A 54-foot motor yacht, Lady Erika, on its maiden voyage was able to arrive within half an hour and rescue Masi and Richard Werner. A lobster boat, the Miss Conduct, rescued Daricus Hunter, who had stayed with Masi’s boat.

Doug Isenberg helped Werner swim, with Masi between them, over to the Lady Erika, but Isenberg stopped breathing before he could be pulled into the yacht. Attempts at CPR were unsuccessful.

“Me and Douglas were friends since I was in second grade,” said Masi, 45. “I miss the guy a whole lot.”

Masi has also been through a divorce, his house is for sale and he said he’s battling for insurance compensation from both boating and construction accidents as well as for an electrical-stimulation stationary bicycle that he says is the only thing that alleviates the pain in his lower body. A final appeal with Maine Medical Center is in the offing.

“I’m crossing my fingers,” he said, “that maybe there’ll be a Christmas for me.”

Masi’s long-range plan remains to earn his captain’s license and open a charter-fishing business accessible to the handicapped.

“How neat would that be?” Masi said. “You’re in a wheelchair and you’ve always loved to fish? Well, your captain’s in a wheelchair, too.”

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