The Perfect Storm turned 1991 into the deadliest year at sea for Gloucester, Massachusetts, since 1978. In the past 25 years, Gloucester has changed along with the people whose lives were directly affected by the storm.
Linda Greenlaw was at the helm of the Hannah Boden and Billy Tyne at the Andrea Gail during the height of the storm.
The duo was made famous by Sebastian Junger’s book, “The Perfect Storm,” and in 2000, the blockbuster movie starring George Clooney and Dorchester native Mark Wahlberg.
“I was the last person to talk with Billy Tyne at the time during the storm,” Greenlaw recounted. “I was still fishing. I wanted a weather report from him. Even with all this high tech stuff, because what he has I was probably going to get he was not in danger, he was not afraid.”
Despite the forecast, Tyne and his crew were on their way back to port with a full load.
“It was always the attitude that, ‘I’m a grand banks fisherman and if I can’t fish 40 or 50 knots of wind I might as well stay home,’” recalled Greenlaw.
During their final exchange, Greenlaw plotted the position of the Andrea Gail on her map.
“It was the area known as the graveyard of the North Atlantic, it’s Sable Island,” Greenland said.
What Greenland didn’t know was that a buoy near the Andrea Gail recorded a 100 foot wave.
In Gloucester, rumors started to swirl at Gregg Sousa’s Bar.
“Someone walked in, I was behind the bar, they said, ‘hey did anyone hear anything about the Andrea Gail,” Sousa recalled. “I was like, ‘what are you talking about?’ And they said, no one has heard anything in two days.”
Crews spent a day searching.
“I got a call from my boss, he said he hadn’t heard from Billy and if I could get him on the radio,” Greenlaw said. “The only thing we found was a 55 gallon drum that had A.G. for Andrea Gail marked on it. It was a drum they carried spare fuel in.”
Her return to Gloucester coincided with the official end to the search.
“My opinion is that whatever happened, happened very quickly,” she said. “There was never really anything found after the storm.”
The 6 crew members of the Andrea Gail are remembered at the Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial. Since 1991, only 19 names have been added to the list.