The family of a fisherman who died after his boat sank off the coast of Portland last week will hold a celebration of his life this weekend in Kennebunkport.

Fisherman Arnold “Joe” Nickerson IV in August 2017. Photo by Amy Paradysz

A celebration of life for Arnold “Joe” Nickerson IV, 60, of Arundel will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Hall on School Street in Kennebunkport, according to his obituary.

Nickerson was fishing with 44-year-old Chris Pinkham when their 42-foot vessel capsized and sank Jan. 23 about 50 miles off Portland.

The men were fishing aboard Nickerson’s boat, the Hayley Ann, when the vessel is believed to have capsized or quickly flooded. They did not have time to radio for help, but the boat’s emergency beacon sent out a distress signal, which was received by the Coast Guard.

Both men were dead when a fellow fisherman pulled them from the ocean. The cause of the sinking remains under investigation.

As of Wednesday evening, a campaign on GoFundMe to ease the financial burden for Nickerson’s end-of-life expenses had raised more than $44,000 toward its goal of $100,000.


“My husband loved working on the water and it is so amazing to see the support from the many people Joey’s life touched even beyond the fishing communities of Maine and New England,” his wife, Sharon Nickerson, wrote. “Dealing with the grief of losing a husband, father and grandfather while trying to manage our financial future is a struggle, but knowing you are there with us gives us strength.”

A celebration of life for Pinkham, who lived in Boothbay, will be held Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. at the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor, according to his obituary.

Nickerson and Pinkham were remembered as devoted family men as well as hardworking, experienced members of Maine’s commercial fishing community.

Pinkham was married and had two young daughters. The Hayley Ann fishing vessel was named after Nickerson’s adult daughter. Nickerson also had a grandson.


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