Updated Sept. 25
One mariner is dead after being attacked by a fellow seaman aboard the trawler Captain Billy Haver, according to the Coast Guard.
A person who heard the radio transmissions from the trawler to the Coast Guard said the crew member allegedly used a hammer and a knife in the alleged attack, though the Coast Guard would not confirm.
Another mariner was allegedly injured by the same assailant. Franklin Freddy Meave Vazquez, 27, “was charged with one count of murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, and one count of attempted murder within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” a release from the U.S. Attorney’s office states.
A call went out to Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England Sunday afternoon from the Captain Billy Haver, which was 55 miles east of Nantucket at the time of the incident, petty officer Andrew Barresi told The Times, but he could not offer a specific time for the call or any other times for the events that followed. The call stated that a member of the crew of the Captain Billy Haver attacked several fishermen.
The German cruise ship Mein Schiff 6 redirected and came alongside the trawler and took two injured mariners aboard. The cruise ship’s doctor pronounced one of the mariners dead shortly thereafter.
The 270-foot cutter Legare, on patrol in the northeast, made way for the trawler and upon reaching it dispatched a law enforcement team.
The cutter, the cruiser, and the trawler made way to Boston and were met by Coast Guard investigators and other federal officials.
The trawler was reportedly berthed at a Coast Guard station in Boston.
The name of the deceased and the injured mariner have not been disclosed.
The Captain Billy Haver is an 82-foot fishing vessel out of Seaford, Virginia.
Vazquez was arrested in nearby Newport News, Virginia, in March for abduction by force, intimidation, or deception, the US Attorney’s office stated in its release. He was subsequently released on bond. “According to court documents, Vazquez is illegally present in the United States,” the release states.
It’s unclear where Vazquez is being held or whether he has an attorney.
Brian Joseph, New Bedford assistant harbormaster said he’s seen the Captain Billy Haver in New Bedford and Fairhaven harbors.
“I have not seen that vessel in a while,” he said. “I do remember it because it was bright yellow.”
Joseph said he couldn’t ever remember seeing a trawler that color before. However he knew little else about the vessel.
The controller at the Fairhaven Shipyard was familiar with the Captain Billy Haver, noting it was distinctively yellow.
“We work on it,” he said.
The Captain Billy Haver was last in the shipyard in December, he said, when it underwent basic maintenance.
The trawler is owned by Captain Juan, Inc., according to federal records. The company is based in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The registered agent for Captain Juan, Inc is Douglas W. Davis of the Davis Law Group in Chesapeake, Virginia, according to the Virginia Secretary of State’s Office. An assistant for Mr Davis declined to disclose anything about Captain Juan, Inc., describing the company as a client. She then declined to acknowledge Captain Juan, Inc. was a client at all.
Updated to include more details and charges. -Ed.