Massachusetts Community Hopes for Safe Return of El Faro Crew Member

Reverend Dan King is preparing for a candlelight vigil honoring the men and women lost at sea, as a family in his Kingston community prays their loved one is found.

Jeffery Mathias, 42, of Kingston, Massachusetts, is one of the missing crew members of the cargo ship El Faro. The married father of three young children has been working for years as a marine engineer since his graduation from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Acting as a family spokesperson, Rev. King says Mathias' specialty is engine propulsion systems. He'd been with the El Faro crew for several months.

"He worked mostly on the West Coast. And he had contracts that took him all over the world. He was an incredibly accomplished specialist in his area. He really did great work according to everybody," said Rev. King.

The Mathias family owns 'Bog Hollow Farm,' which is now closed for the year, as the family waits for news of Jeffery.

“They are just so tender right now and they are holding out hope that there will be a positive outcome. Still. They are realistic they know it's less and less likely but they can't help hoping,” said Rev. King.

Tuesday morning, Mathias' alma mater, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, held a moment of silence.

And the support continues in Kingston Wednesday night at the First Congregational Parish Church for a candlelight community gathering is for family and friends of those lost at sea. People will gather to pray for the highly regarded member of their community.

"When someone picks a profession that involves working with heavy machinery that happens to be on a ship, that's one of the indicators of their professionalism to be able to deal with whatever that risk is,” said Rev. King. 

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