Barnegat Light Scalloper ‘Apparently Fell Overboard’ and Dies in Massachusetts

May 23, 2017
Courtesy of: Fishermen's Story Memorial Fund Pete Benya

The Fishermen’s Story Memorial at the tip of Barnegat Light will have another name engraved in memory of commercial fishermen who died in their line of work, this one Pete Benya.

“Barnegat Light is again mourning the loss of one of our own,” says the Facebook page of the Fishermen’s Story Memorial Fund.

Capt. Pete Benya, 59, died the weekend of Sunday, May 14, when his body was found floating in Saquatucket Harbor, Mass., and later identified, according to the Cape and Islands district attorney’s office.

Benya owned the Resolute and had been scalloping out of Barnegat Light for several years.

“Pete was making a few trips out of Harwich, Mass., and apparently fell overboard while at the dock,” said representatives from Lighthouse Marina, his home port in Barnegat Light.

“He will be sorely missed.”

Beth Mears, on behalf of the marina and the Fisherman’s Story Memorial, said having Benya’s name engraved on the monument  is “in the works.” She said she hopes to have it done in time for the Blessing of the Fleet on June 19 but is not sure if the work will be completed by then. The monument was erected in 2013 after Mears’ brother, Jimmy, was lost at sea.

Friends in the fishing community were saddened by the loss of a comrade. Benya was called “a gentleman, a wonderful person,” who “always had a smile and a laugh and a helping hand for all.”  —M.S.



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