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 Swordfish Stories

August 23, 1909

Swordfish Had Attacked Craft
Sword was Imbedded in Hull of Sch.
Hattie A. Heckman

When sch. Hattie A. Heckman, which has been seining, hauled out on Burnham's Railway Saturday afternoon, there was found, sticking in her port side amidships and just under the turn of

the bilge, a large swordfish sword, broken off.

The sword was evidently that of a very large fish and had been broken off pretty close to the snout.  It struck out over a foot clear of the wood and the end was imbedded so deep that it had actually penetrated the three inches of hard pine planking

The fish had evidently mistaken the bottom of the vessel for a whale or some marine enemy and with the customary courage of its kind had attacked it immediately with its sword.  The blow must have been a terrific one as the sword went through the planking.  The struggles of the great fish to free himself must have been fierce.

Many visited the craft yesterday to see the strange sight.

Copyright by R. Sheedy - all rights reserved.

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July 1902   

Drowned by Swordfish
Big Fish Hauls Isadore Bouchee From Dory
Road Line Had Hard Turn Around His Leg

Sch. W. B. Keep, Capt. John McKinnon, engaged in swordfishing, arrived form George's this morning with her flag at half-mast for the loss of Isadore Bouchee, one of her crew.  The sad accident happened at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon.  A big swordfish had been harpooned from the pulpit and Bouchee put off in a dory to pick up the buoy and haul in on the road line.  The fish came in easy, and Bouchee had the road line all in but eight fathoms, when those on the schooner saw the line pull tight and, to their horror, noticed Bouchee go over the rail and disappear beneath the surface.  The line had caught around one of his legs and when the fish darted off he had pulled the unfortunate man, who was unable to clear himself, overboard, and under water with the road line.

In less than four minutes another dory from the vessel was on the scene and two men were hauling as hard as they knew how on the line, but could not gain an inch.   After a while the fish played out, and there, eight fathoms from the 400-pound swordfish, was Bouchee caught securely by the road line around the leg and evidently dead.  He was taken on board the vessel and all efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful, so the vessel headed for home to bring in his body.

Bouchee was 48 years old and leaves a widow at No. 12 Taylor street, Gloucester.

Copyright by R. Sheedy - all rights reserved.

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August 11, 1926

Wounded Swordfish Turned on Pursuer

Charles MacVane, a fisherman living on Long Island, Casco Bay, was hauled aboard the fishing schooner, Audrey and Theo of this city just as his dory pierced by the rapier of a giant swordfish, was sinking under him recently on Georges.  The fishing schooner Alice M. Doughty of which MacVane was one of the crew arrived yesterday at Portland, after a 10 days trip to Georges.

The crew of the Doughty had succeeded in ironing a big fish and the customary buoy was attached to the line.  MacVane, in a dory, started after the capture when the big fish rammed the bottom of the dory.  A piece of planking a foot square was torn away and the sword of the fish came through, followed by part of his head.  In less than two minutes the dory filled.  MacVane's own schooner was half a mile distant and but for the lucky appearance of the local craft he probably would have drowned.  The fish was captured.

Copyright by R. Sheedy - all rights reserved.

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These stories are from Out of Gloucester by R. Sheedy                               

Copyright by R. Sheedy - all rights reserved.








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