NBC 10 I-Team: Missing fisherman’s family wants answers
Tammy Roberts lives just a stone’s throw from the Fairhaven dock where her husband, Michael, would get on the clamming boat, Misty Blue.
It’s been 48 hours since word of its sinking about 10 miles off the coast of Nantucket Monday night shortly after 6 p.m.
Tammy remembers Saturday’s send off. It was nothing special. Michael has been a fisherman for years, working on the Misty Blue for at least the last four.
“I gave him a kiss. I went to work. I never say, ‘Bye,’ when he leaves on a trip. I always say, ‘See ya later,’” she told the NBC 10 I-Team.
Tammy was at work when the boat left the dock. She was having a medical issue.
“I texted him and said, ‘Babe, I'm having a hard time moving my legs.’ And he said, ‘Oh boy do you want me to tell Captain Eric to turn around and go home?’ I said, ‘No you go,’ I said, ‘I'm just in a lot of pain,’” Tammy said.
With cell service being spotty at sea, Michael's last words are still digitized on Tammy’s phone.
“He said, ‘Try and get some sleep, babe.’ And I said, ‘I will,’ and that was it,” she said. “That was the last text or last conversation we had.”
Michael was last seen by surviving crew members in the ship's galley.
Captain Eric Arabian, 44, and 22-year-old Colby McMullen were rescued from the ship’s life raft. Michael, 49, and 32-year-old Jonathan Saraiva are still missing.
“I was trying to have hope that he's, you know, hanging on somewhere down there. Maybe he found an air pocket in the boat and he's going to come back. I keep running this through my mind hoping that he's going to be here,” said Michael’s brother, Eddie Georgsen, who drove up from his home in New York.
By family accounts, Michael was laid back, always helpful, loved to cook and loved his extended family - including an adult daughter, step-children and a little granddaughter.
“Loves my granddaughter. He has a very, very special bond with my granddaughter. She would always tell me Nana that's my best friend.”
The Roberts family understands Michael is likely lost at sea, but that hasn’t stopped them from asking questions, particularly about the boat’s condition.
Tammy said about four prior trips were either delayed or cancelled because of a pump engine issue with the Misty Blue. It’s unclear if that had anything to do with its sinking.
While the Coast Guard suspended its search Tuesday night, the Massachusetts State Police used sonar and discovered a large object underwater. That search may continue Thursday after weather conditions clear.
Meanwhile, Tammy said she’d like closure and is curious why the boat was taking on water in the first place.
“I would like him to be recovered and brought home, just to have him with me,” she said. “I definitely want answers.”