, Newburyport, MA

Local News

July 8, 2013

Body taken from herring trawler

Police find drugs aboard; no foul play seen


Police do not expect to file charges in the case, Campanello said late Sunday night.

During interviews with police, crew members said Grindle was asthmatic. They told police that Grindle had complained of feeling “a little woozy” in the late hours of Saturday night, but refused transportation back to Gloucester, Campanello said. Grindle took a watch on the trawler from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Shortly after Grindle’s watch, the captain heard a banging on the bulkhead to his quarters. It was Grindle knocking and asking that he call Coast Guard for help. The captain entered the room and found Grindle in respiratory distress, grasping a nebulizer device, the crew told police.

Grindle collapsed while the crew spoke to Coast Guard personnel over the phone, according to police. The Coast Guard instructed crew members to initiate CPR and they began pumping Grindle’s chest but stopped at the guard’s instruction around 4 a.m. when they found Grindle’s heart no longer carried a pulse.

Later, thunder rumbled and crackled about as a Gloucester police officer coaxed a department drug sniffing K9 dog to climb tenderly aboard the vessel about 6 p.m. The dog steered his handler to the pilot house, but turned up no additional drugs beyond what searchers had already found, Campanello said.

Three crew members and one NOAA observer had been riding aboard the trawler, which had left port not long before crews were dialing in the medical emergency. The fishermen had yet to begin trawling the sea for fish, officials said.

“While this death did not appear to have anything to do with an ocean-related event,” Campanello said, “it’s always sad to hear of the loss of a fisherman in the act of performing his job and we extend our sympathies to his family and friends.”

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