NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Community News Network

May 14, 2013

'Ghost ship' offered to highest bidder

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — This historic seaport is offering for sale a 37-foot fiberglass sailboat some mariners might describe as a "ghost ship" because the owner mysteriously fell overboard and presumably drowned, his body never found.

It is unusual for a municipality to sell a private boat but no one from the owner's family has come forward to claim it, adding to the intrigue.

The owner, Richard Decker, a German national, bought the sloop last fall with the intention of living on it, police said. He was reported missing six months ago when the Coast Guard discovered his swamped dinghy tied to the boat's stern near the mouth of the fast-flowing Merrimack River. His dog was tied to a park post across the river.

Officials do not know exactly what happened to Decker, but they theorize he fell overboard and drowned when his dinghy line became entangled in the sailboat's propeller and he attempted to free it while enroute to a dock to retrieve his dog.

A ghost ship is a boat with no living crew member aboard when it is found. Such a boat is no stranger to this coastal city, which built magestic clipper ships during the China trade era in the mid-1800s.

The city of Newburyport has offered Decker's boat, an Endeavour make, for sale on a municipal auction website (www.municibid.com) to the highest bidder. Its ghost ship status has not deterred potential new owners. Thus far 26 bids have been received, with the high $9,250. The deadline for bids is May 29.

---

Details for this story were provided by the Newburyport, Mass., Daily News.

 

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network

Offbeat
NDN Video
8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Toddler climbs into vending machine Much-Anticipated 'Gone Girl' Trailer Finally Debuts! (VIDEO) Dog and Toddler Wear Matching Outfits in Adorable Photo Series VP Biden: "World witnesses ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things" It's Official! Michael Strahan Joins "GMA" Blood Moon Time-lapse Actress Lake Bell Goes Topless The Five Weirdest Local Taxes in America Applicants Vying for 'World's Toughest Job' Get Heartwarming Surprise Awkward: Crist catches Lt. Gov. insulting him on camera NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse US Airways Tweets Graphic Photo of Nude Woman Behind the scenes of the Marathon anniversary photo shoot American Airlines Responds After Girl Tweets Alleged Terror Threat 'Joke' Charlie White's "Dancing" Mistake Olympic Great & Baltimore Native Michael Phelps Ends Retirement; Eyes Rio 2014 NFL Draft: Potential Booms And Busts William and Kate Squash Baby No. 2 Rumors With a Wine-Tasting Trip Who Showed Up at Coachella?
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans