, Newburyport, MA

Local News

June 5, 2014

Byfield clammer found dead in Plum Island River

NEWBURY — The body of Byfield resident Richard Marks was discovered Tuesday afternoon in the water near the mouth of the Plum Island River, a popular place for recreational and commercial clammers.

Marks, 65, was found by a Massachusetts State Police helicopter that had been searching the town’s clam flats per a request from local police.

Newbury police Deputy Chief John Lucey Jr. said another clammer had found Marks’ skiff containing personal effects adrift near Dole Island and alerted authorities. Marks’ dog was discovered later on a beach in the area of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. It is unknown how long he was missing, but typically clammers go out during low tide. Tuesday’s low tide was at 10 a.m.

According to Lucey, the area where Marks was found is in a remote spot not generally known by the public.

“But it’s very popular to the commercial clammers,” Lucey said, adding Marks was a recreational clammer and well-known around the community.

Police are investigating the cause of death.

Lucey praised the Massachusetts Environmental Police and the state police for their efforts in helping find Marks. The U.S. Coast Guard station in Newburyport was called by local police, but it was determined their assistance wasn’t needed.

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