CRANBERRY ISLES — Friends of Islesford lobsterman Cory Alley — and perhaps some people who don’t even know him — have contributed more than $26,000 to help him and his family following the sinking of his lobster boat, Under Pressure, on its mooring last Thursday morning, Oct. 24.
Alley said a video taken by a security camera at the Cranberry Isles Fisherman’s Co-Op showed the boat going under at 2:43 a.m.
An attempt to raise it later that day failed when the crane on a barge broke.
“We got the rail [of the lobster boat] up to the surface, but it was so rough here in the harbor and the crane crumpled under all the weight, so she went all the way back to the bottom,” Alley said.
On Saturday, a barge owned by Acadia Fuel and one owned by Wid Minctons, both of Southwest Harbor, brought the boat to the surface. Islesford lobsterman Roy Hadlock towed it to Abel’s Boat Yard on Somes Sound.
Alley said Monday that the cause of the sinking was still unknown.
“There’s nothing visible,” he said. “We’re going to get things cleaned up and dried out and set it back in the water to see if we can find something.
“I’m definitely going to have to replace the motor and wiring and electronics. I’ve already had some of the electronics donated. The wiring is going to be the big thing; it’s basically starting all over.”
Alley said he had recently bought a new life raft.
“It deployed when the boat sank, so I’ve got to buy another life raft, too,” he said.
He has owned the 40-foot Under Pressure for 15 years, having bought it from Mark Fernald, who built it in the late 1980s.
“I actually crewed on this boat when I was a kid,” Alley said.
He said the boat wasn’t insured.
Islesford resident Katelyn Damon, who is the town’s public safety coordinator, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help Alley get back on the water a few hours after it was discovered that Under Pressure had sunk. The original fundraising goal was $5,000. As of late Monday afternoon, 152 separate donations to the campaign totaled $26,170.
“I was a little bit surprised at how fast it picked up steam,” Damon said.
But she noted that Alley, who was elected to the Cranberry Isles Board of Selectmen last spring, and his wife, Cari, a member of the town’s school committee, have a lot of friends and that island people help each other.
“They’ve gotten a lot of support from fishermen on Islesford and donations from other people around the area,” Damon said.
Alley described the response to the fundraising campaign as “pretty incredible.”
“It says a lot that everybody’s standing up. There are a lot of good people out here.”