LUBEC (AP) – A Lubec man who went missing while harvesting periwinkles was trying to make some extra money after losing his carpentry job, a friend said. Periwinkle harvester Dennis Knox said he heard his friend, Kristopher Fergerson, calling out for help as the tide came in while they were harvesting in the dark.

Knox told the Bangor Daily News it’s possible his friend ended up stranded on a sandbar as the rising tide prevented him from returning to shore Tuesday night.

He said he still hears his friend’s cry for help. “I wake up to hear screaming,” he said during an interview in Calais. Fergerson was not experienced with picking periwinkles, or “wrinkling,” as it’s known locally. “We’d been wrinkling because he had lost his job doing carpentry work,” Knox said. The Coast Guard and Maine Maritime Patrol launched a search late Tuesday for Fergerson. They continued to search the following day but found no sign of the missing man.

Maine State Police and officers from the Department of Marine Patrol continue to investigate.

On Friday, officers took pictures and measurements at West Quoddy Head State Park, about a mile from where Fergerson last was seen. “They are still doing interviews and tracking down leads,” Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith said.

Knox said they’d known each other about a year. Fergerson had invited Knox and his pregnant girlfriend, Shannon Hill, to move in with him. “He is like a brother,” Knox said.

Harvesting periwinkles in the dark is not unusual, because most fishermen follow the tides. The two were dressed for cold weather and wore headlamps. They had been out on the flats awhile, long enough to get a few sacks of periwinkles.

After they became separated, Knox went to his car to get a flashlight. That’s when he heard his friend yelling. Knox said he went to the nearby U.S. Customs House at the foot of the Roosevelt-Campobello International Bridge to get help.



Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangornews.com

AP-ES-12-07-08 1146EST


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