Concern over captain’s health tempers crew’s excitement

MIAMI — Preparations shifted into high gear in Haiti on Monday to receive the estimated 200 tons of donated relief supplies aboard the Maine ship Sea Hunter, while hopes rose aboard the ship that its five days in limbo here could finally end today.

But even as the crew lashed down cargo and looked forward to this morning’s arrival of a shipmaster who has volunteered to sail the rest of the humanitarian mission, new worries arose about the health of Sea Hunter owner Greg Brooks of Gorham.

Brooks said he spoke at length Monday morning with Dr. William Lynders, a Connecticut physician who has sailed with Brooks’s Sub Sea Research Inc. on several of the company’s treasure-salvage voyages.

The cell phone consultation followed a call to Lynders by Brian Ryder, the Sea Hunter’s chief engineer and shipboard medic. Ryder said he was worried about Brooks’ physical condition, including what appears to be a lung infection.

“I thought I was a strong guy, I still think I am,” Brooks said. “But it’s been a month of overwhelming things.”

Brooks said he would decide by this morning whether to continue on to Haiti or fly home to Maine after seeing the Sea Hunter off. Either way, he said, the decision will not be easy.

Click on the link for the rest of this column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.

Mr. Nemitz also added a Reporter’s Notebook about the Sea Hunter. A notebook typically are bits and pieces a reporter gathers, but never seems to find place in the main story or column. Here’s a link to the notebook by Mr. Nemitz.


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