Andrea Gail

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United States
  • Andrea Gail (final name)
  • Miss Penny (original name)
OwnerSea Gale Corp., Gloucester, Massachusetts
Port of registryUnited States
RouteUnited States of America
BuilderEastern Shipbuilding, Panama City, FL
In service1978
Out of serviceOctober 28, 1991
HomeportMarblehead, Massachusetts
FateLost in the 1991 Perfect Storm
General characteristics
TypeFishing vessel
Tonnage92 tons
Length72 feet (22 m)
Beam20 feet (6.1 m)
Depth9.8 feet (3.0 m)
Installed power1 CAT 3408 365 hp turbo diesel reduction engine(main), 1 CAT 35 Kw generator, 1 Lister 15 Kw Generator
Propulsion1 single shaft propeller
Speed12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)[1]
NotesSister ship: Hannah Boden

F/V Andrea Gail was a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea with all hands during the Perfect Storm of 1991. The vessel and her six-man crew had been fishing the North Atlantic Ocean out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her last reported position was 180 mi (290 km) northeast of Sable Island on October 28, 1991. The story of Andrea Gail and her crew was the basis of the 1997 book The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, and a 2000 film adaptation of the same name.

F/V Andrea Gail[edit]

Andrea Gail was a 72-foot (22 m) commercial fishing vessel constructed in Panama City, Florida, in 1978, and owned by Robert Brown.[2] Her home port was Marblehead, Massachusetts. She also sailed from Gloucester, Massachusetts, where she would offload her catch and reload food and stores for her next run.

Andrea Gail began her final voyage departing from Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts, on September 20, 1991, bound for the Grand Banks of Newfoundland off the coast of eastern Canada. After poor fishing, Captain Frank W. "Billy" Tyne Jr. headed east to the Flemish Cap, where he believed they would have better luck. Despite weather reports warning of dangerous conditions, Tyne set course for home on October 26–27.[2] The ship's ice machine was malfunctioning and would not have been able to maintain the catch for much longer.[3]


The last reported transmission from Andrea Gail was at about 6:00 pm on October 28, 1991. Tyne radioed Linda Greenlaw, captain of the Hannah Boden, owned by the same company, and gave his coordinates as 44°00′N 56°40′W / 44.000°N 56.667°W / 44.000; -56.667,[2] or about 162 mi (261 km) east of Sable Island. He also gave a weather report indicating 30 ft (9.1 m) seas and wind gusts up to 80 kn (150 km/h; 92 mph). Tyne's final recorded words were, "She's comin' on, boys, and she's comin' on strong." Junger reported that the storm created waves in excess 100 ft (30 m) in height, but ocean buoy monitors recorded a peak wave height of 39 ft (12 m).[4] However, data from a series of weather buoys in the general vicinity of the vessel's last known location recorded peak wave action exceeding 60 ft (18 m) in height from October 28 through 30, 1991. A buoy off the coast of Nova Scotia reported a wave height of 100.7 ft (30.7 m), the highest ever recorded in the province's offshore waters on the Boston coast.[2]


On October 30, 1991, the vessel was reported overdue. An extensive air and land search was launched by the 106th Rescue Wing from the New York Air National Guard, United States Coast Guard, and Canadian Coast Guard forces. The search eventually covered over 186,000 sq nmi (640,000 km2).[5]

On November 6, 1991, Andrea Gail's emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) was discovered washed up on the shore of Sable Island in Nova Scotia. The EPIRB was designed to automatically send out a distress signal upon contact with sea water, but the Canadian Coast Guard personnel who found the beacon "did not conclusively verify whether the control switch was in the on or off position".[2] Authorities called off the search for the missing vessel on November 9, 1991, due to the low probability of crew survival.[2]

Fuel drums, a fuel tank, the EPIRB, an empty life raft, and some other flotsam were the only wreckage found. The ship was presumed lost at sea somewhere along the continental shelf near Sable Island.[citation needed]


All six of the crew were lost at sea.

In the media[edit]

  • The story of Andrea Gail and her crew inspired Sebastian Junger's 1997 book, The Perfect Storm, and a 2000 film of the same name.[6] A ship similar to Andrea Gail, Lady Grace, was used during the filming of the movie.[7][8]
  • An illustrated nonfiction book about the disaster for middle-school-age youth, The Wreck of the Andrea Gail: Three Days of a Perfect Storm by Gillian Houghton, was published in 2003.[9]
  • A model of Andrea Gail built by Paul Gran is on display at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester.[10]


  1. ^ Junger, Sebastian (1999). The Perfect Storm. p. 29. ISBN 0-06-097747-7.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l U.S. Coast Guard investigation report
  3. ^ Houghton, Gillian (2002). The Wreck of the Andrea Gail: Three Days of a Perfect Storm. Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 9780823936779.
  4. ^ "Meteorologists Say 'Perfect Storm' Not So Perfect". ScienceDaily. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  5. ^ "The search for the Andrea Gail: Gloucester Daily Times". Archived from the original on 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  6. ^ "Court Revives 'Perfect Storm' Lawsuit". St. Petersburg Times Online. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  7. ^ "The Perfect Storm's Andrea Gail Comes Home to Massachusetts". Warner Bros. July 14, 2000. Archived from the original on October 16, 2014. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  8. ^ Candus Thomson (June 23, 2000). "Ocean City boat sails off to stardom". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  9. ^ "The Wreck of the Andrea Gail: Three Days of a Perfect Storm". Rosen Publishing. 2003. Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  10. ^ Morissette, Dove (September 12, 2012). "True to Form: Model Maker Crafts Museum Replica of Andrea Gail". Gloucester Times. Retrieved November 14, 2012.

Further reading[edit]

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