A campaign to help the families of four fishermen lost at sea last week was approaching $100,000 Sunday night.

The fundraising effort on the for-profit crowd funding platform called GoFundMe had raised just over $95,000 to ease the financial burdens of the four crewmen’s families.  The Portland-based fishing vessel Emmy Rose sank off the coast of Massachusetts during the early morning hours of Nov. 23. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for the men on Tuesday evening.

Rosalee Varian, the daughter of the boat’s owner, Rink Varian, created the GoFundMe account. She told the Press Herald last week that the funds will be divided four ways.

The fishermen who lost their lives at sea have been identified as Robert Blethen Jr. of Georgetown, Jeff Matthews of Portland, Ethan Ward of Pownal, and Mike Porper of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Blethen served as captain of the 82-foot vessel. The boat was headed toward Gloucester when it sank.

“The crew on the Emmy Rose were honorable men. All were extremely passionate about the fishing industry, but most importantly, they loved and cared for their families more than anything in the world,” Varian said in a statement posted on the campaign site.

The Sustainable Harvest Sector, a group of 100 fishing vessel owners and operators representing the New England ground fishing industry, said it will post information about memorial services for the crew members once those plans become known. A candlelight vigil was held on the Portland waterfront last Wednesday for the crew.

The Emmy Rose sank early Monday roughly 22 miles northeast of Provincetown, Massachusetts, where 30-knot winds were whipping up 6- to 8-foot waves. Officials from the Coast Guard said it could take months before the cause of the sinking can be determined.

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