The 83-foot sea-scalloper Stanley M. Fisher, Capt. George H. Fisher of Oak Bluffs, came up with perhaps the biggest catch of this or any other season last Thursday night, the Navy’s nuclear powered submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus.
Captain Fisher had a strange and exotic tale of the sea when he tied up at Fairhaven on Saturday. He informed the Coast Guard that when the vessel was fishing about eighty miles south of Block Island Thursday night, a violent jerk on the nets nearly spun the boat about. Before long, a submarine rose silently to the surface alongside the boat. The skipper of the undersea craft appeared, identified himself as Lt. Comdr. L. W. Zech of the Nautilus, ordered the crew to clear away the nest, and cautioned Captain Fisher to remain silent about the incident. Then the Nautilus disappeared once more into fog and darkness.
But Captain Fisher couldn’t remain silent about an incident that resulted in the noticeable loss of a net and the heavy platform which goes over the side of a boat when its nets are out. These losses were noted by old salts at the Fairhaven wharf, and so he had to tell how it all came about.
A spokesman for the Navy Department in Washington, D.C., confirmed the story, and said that Commander Zech had been transferred elsewhere since last Thursday, but that the transfer had nothing to do with getting caught up in the Stanley M. Fisher’s nets. Heretofore, the Nautilus had an exalted reputation for being elusive.
Although her official hailing port is Oak Bluffs, Captain Fisher’s boat, which was added to the Island fleet in 1956, berths elsewhere because the water is not deep enough next to Oak Bluffs piers. She is frequently berthed in Edgartown’s harbor.