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Fire destroys Owls Head lobster boat

OWLS HEAD, Maine — Todd Nickles said the fishing community has rallied to offer its collective hand after his lobster boat was destroyed Saturday night by fire.

The cause of the blaze aboard the 31-foot Double Trouble II has not been determined, Nickles said Monday as he stood by the remnants of the burned vessel that was surrounded by yellow tape. There were no immediate responses to an email message left Monday afternoon with the Maine Department of Public Safety and a phone message for the state fire marshal investigator about the fire.

Nickles said he does not believe it was intentionally set.

Maine Marine Patrol Sgt. Matthew Talbot said an officer responded to the fire but directing inquiries about the possible cause to the fire marshal.

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The fire was discovered about 4 a.m. Sunday. The boat broke from its mooring during the fire and drifted through Owls Head Harbor toward other boats and the Ship to Shore wharf. He said a fellow lobsterman and volunteer firefighter Jimmy Philbrook went out in his boat with other firefighters and kept the Double Trouble from catching anything else on fire.

The boat is insured, Nickles said, but he does not know if the insurance covers lost income. He said he generally fishes throughout the year, hauling a few traps during the winter and taking urchin divers out during the winter.

The Double Trouble was built 16 years ago by his father Donald Nickles. His mother Christina Nickles fished from the boat until the now 24-year-old bought it seven years ago.

He said friends have offered use of their boats for him to haul his traps. His father and uncles also have boats that he can use, he said.

“I definitely feel the love,” Nickles said about the offers of help.

But he acknowledged that the loss of the boat is significant.

“It sucks. It’s my life,” he said.


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