Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Legendary Nor'easter Sent Ripples to Cortez

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Legendary Nor'easter Sent Ripples to Cortez

Article excerpt


The monument is underneath the fronds of a shady tree near a waterfront restaurant in Cortez, and the names are etched on a corroding plaque barely above the shells in the parking lot.

People often stroll by on their way to lunch but few ever stop. The memorial is dedicated to those from Cortez who perished at sea, and even those curious enough to look may not recognize what they are seeing.

The plaque contains the names of 15 commercial fishermen who were lost at sea, and three of those names were made famous by a book and a movie called "The Perfect Storm."

Captain Billy Tyne, Michael "Bugsy" Moran and Dale "Murph" Murphy -- all with ties to Cortez -- were aboard the Andrea Gail, a swordfish boat that left Gloucester, Massachusetts and sank south of Nova Scotia during a fierce storm in 1991.

Tyne was played in the movie by George Clooney, Murphy by John C. Reilly and "The Perfect Storm" grossed hundreds of millions worldwide.

In many wrecks and crashes, there always seems to be someone who avoids death by some quirky coincidence. And sometimes it can be a strange twist of fate or an off-handed decision that leads to death as well. The story of the Andrea Gail is no exception.

There actually should be a 16th name on the Cortez monument -- that of Doug Kosko. He was a fisherman from Cortez who left the ill- fated boat at the last minute after having an odd encounter with a swordfish.

Kosko was a cook and a friend of Tyne's who signed up for three trips aboard the Andrea Gail. On the second trip Kosko was on deck helping Tyne butcher some swordfish when something bizarre happened that saved his life.

According to a 2005 interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Kosko looked at one particular swordfish and instantly knew his fishing days were over.

"I looked down at the fish and it was staring up at me," Kosko told the Sentinel. "It's big and beautiful, and when you take them out of the water they have all these colors, more colors than a rainbow. …

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