Search for lost clam boat off Nantucket put on hold again

F/V Misty Blue and Atlantic Capes Fisheries

Misty Blue, a fishing vessel out of New Bedford, sank 10 miles off the coast of Nantucket Monday evening.

By Globe Staff 

The search for a clam boat that sunk off the coast of Nantucket earlier this week has been put on hold again due to rough water conditions.

For Tammy Roberts, the wife of one of the missing fishermen, the delays have been heartbreaking.


Her husband, Michael, and another member of the crew have not been seen since Monday evening, when the Misty Blue sank about 10 miles southeast of Nantucket.

“It’s driving me crazy,” said Roberts, her voice shaking with emotion. “My husband is out there in the ocean somewhere.”

Through tears, Roberts said she hasn’t been able to eat or sleep.

“How can he be left in the water like this,” she said.

In the midst of all this heartache, her 20-year-old son just departed on a fishing trip. He left Sandwich on a lobster boat Thursday and was headed out to Georges Bank. He is due back Sunday.


Roberts can’t imagine losing him, too.

The boat her husband worked on — the Misty Blue — had been harvesting surf clams when it ran into trouble Monday. The boat’s captain, Eric Arabian, 44, and another crewman, Colby McMullen, 22, were both rescued from the water by a nearby fishing vessel. The other two members of the crew — Roberts, 49, and Jonathan Saraiva, 32 — have not been seen since.

Earlier this week the Massachusetts State Police Dive Team located a large object in the water that they believe to be the Misty Blue, but weather and ocean conditions have prevented them from diving in to check it out.

On Thursday State Police spokesman David Procopio said the seas were still too rough for divers to go into the water. The dive team plans to return to the site Saturday because the conditions should be safer by then, he said.

Procopio said the boat appears to be approximately 80 to 90 feet below the surface.

It’s unclear what caused the 69-foot vessel to sink. The incident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard.


Meanwhile, the families of the missing fishermen are left anxiously waiting..and waiting.

A friend of the Roberts family set up a GoFundMe page ( for Tammy Roberts and her children.

“Mike went on this trip with the intention of his salary to pay for their family’s Christmas,” the page states. “With Mike gone, Tammy is left in a one paycheck family to run the household and cover his final expenses. Please help the Roberts family keep Mike’s memory alive by donating what you can.”

Roberts wants her husband back. She would do anything to find him.

She said she wishes she could go out and dive down to the vessel herself.

“It’s been days and days with no answers,” she said.

Jonathan Wiggs\Globe Staff

Michael Roberts is one of the missing crewmembers.


Jonathan Saraiva, 32, went missing after the Misty Blue.


Colby McMullen, 22, was aboard the Misty Blue.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at
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