Cap’n Bill

In one of the three worst accidents to befall the Provincetown fleet during the modern era, the Cap’n Bill went down on 9 February 1978. Captain Ralph E. Andrews, 57, perished, as did Robert Sullivan, 32; Edward Hoenig, 21; and 19-year-old Ernest Tasha. (The two other disastrous wrecks in living memory were the Patricia Marie and the Victory II.) Paintings of all three boats can be seen at the Seamen’s Bank. But there is an even more tangible and prominent memorial to the Cap’n Bill: the 10½-foot anchor from the early 19th century that sits in the center of Lopes Square. This was brought ashore by Capt. George Adams and his crew after the anchor was caught in the Cap’n Bill‘s netting at the Pollock Rip off Chatham in 1959. Rather than claim whatever their shares might have been in the sale of such a noble and handsome piece of marine salvage, the crew decided to donate the anchor to the town, for the express purpose of public display in Lopes Square. Adams was preceded as skipper by Capt. Joseph E. Macara, who was also an/the [?] owner of the boat. In the Vessel/Owners Log, the owner was shown as Ralph E. Andrews of 208 Bradford Street and the boat was valued at $12,900. Alfred Joseph Jr. was also a co-owner. (“Alfred Joseph Jr., 84,” The Banner, June 3, 2004.)

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