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Perfect Storm Flotsam Discovery December 9, 2011
Richard Figueiredo
Richard Figueiredo of Pembroke, Mass., lost hundreds of lobster traps in the “Perfect Storm” of 1991.
Debris from a tempest that roared over the waters off New England two decades ago has been found washed up 3,000 miles away along the coast of Ireland.

A tag from a lobster pot that was ripped off the ocean floor by the Halloween 1991 nor’easter that became known as “The Perfect Storm” was found by beachcomber Rosemary Hill of Waterville in County Kerry.

Through Internet searches, she found it belonged to Massachusetts lobsterman Richard Figueiredo, who says it was from one of hundreds of pots he lost during the vicious storm.

Oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer told the Patriot Ledger that the tag initially probably became buried in offshore mud.

He believes that the tag, with or without the pot, then likely drifted south into the circular Subtropical Gyre current in the mid-Atlantic, making six three-year loops before it caught the Gulf Stream toward Ireland – all told, perhaps 50,000 miles of drifting.

Figueiredo told Hill by telephone that she should keep the tag, and that he was honored by the enthusiasm she put into her discovery.

Photo: Patriot Ledger