Fishermen and Lobstermen race to bring boats ashore before Hurricane Lee

Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 5:57 PM EDT
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STONINGTON, Maine (WABI) - For fishermen and lobstermen on the coast of Maine, Thursday marks the quite literal calm before the storm.

“Sunday I started looking at this and started making plans and needed a little bit of work done anyway, and I didn’t want to take any chances. So, I raced around hauled called through my gear and was the first person down here this morning to get hauled out. So I got my lobster boat and my skiff out,” said captain of the Snap Dragon, Mike Billings.

As Hurricane Lee approaches, many have been working together to get their boats to safety.

“You know, when things start getting like this, everybody pulls together because, you know, you’ve had lifetimes of this kind of life, and it’s part of the lifestyle, and everybody cares for each other for the most part, and, you know, everybody’s there to help others,” said Billings.

The entire operation spans over a couple of days.

“The guys doing the Travelift here have been here late at night and very early in the morning,” Billings said.

And it’s been all hands on deck.

“I took my stepson out of school for just half a day just so he could help us get the boats hauled out,” said Sarah Larrabee Ciomei.

Tristan is a 15-year-old lobstermen who was out bringing his little brother’s ship to shore.

“I had to help just haul this boat out for my little brother. My dad doesn’t really like him running it when he’s alone because he’s younger than me. I’m just helping my dad before the storm,” said Tristan Ciomei.

The boats you see out on the water represent more than just a job.

It’s a lifestyle that for many goes back generations.

“Our whole livelihood, everything you got is sitting on that mooring out there,” said Billings.