Captain Rick has lost ‘All For Joy’; it could’ve been worse

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters;


The extraordinary, and very precious privilege of enjoying our phenomenal local wild seafood was brought home to me again yesterday afternoon, along with one aspect of its precariousness, .

Captain Rick Lofstad, a third-generation Long Island fisherman, along with his mate Desmond, who was with him on only his third commercial fishing voyage ever, had to abandon their 55-foot fishing vessel, ‘All For Joy’, last Sunday morning after it began to take on water 3 nautical miles south of Fishers Island, and several hours from its port, Hampton Bays. Fortunately there were no injures.

There is a short Coast Guard video of these events at sea last Sunday morning.

The two had donned proper survival gear when they slipped into the waters moments before their ship capsized. The local Coast Guard had been able to reach them by then, but were unable to prevent the hull from taking on more water, even with the extra pump they supplied.

In the picture above, from (Photo courtesy of Station New London), taken after the rescue, crew members from Coast Guard Station New London pose with Captain Rick and First Mate Desmond, both shoeless and maybe looking weary.

The Coast Guard has so far been unable to salvage the vessel, which was not insured, and although Lofstad owns several others, I understand they are currently being loaned to other fishermen.

This is the All For Joy on a better day:

The boat was named for his 8-year-old daughter Joy, 3 years old at the time he acquired it; it was Joy who had decided what color it should be, according to the newsletter, In its account, once she had made her choice, her father’s daily workplace, “..was soon colored blueberry yogurt purple with cotton candy pink piping on its rub-rails, a matching pink roof for its wheelhouse, and 40-foot-tall pink outriggers towering over its decks.

We also learn that the captain was anxious to tell the Coast Guard the background to the singular appearance of the pink and purple fishing boat: Last Sunday, the story “..tugged at the heartstrings of the crew of a U.S. Coast Guard lifeboat that was motoring alongside the All For Joy as she made her way through storm-tossed Block Island Sound. Her skipper shared the tale over the radio, he recalled later this week, because: ‘I wanted them to know why my boat was the color it is—in case I didn’t make it.’”

I know nothing more right now, but, while unaware of his tragedy when I saw and purchased some wonderful grey sole from the usual bounty at his Union Square Greenmarket stall on Friday, I expect Rick will be (or already is) back in business soon.

My short account here was assembled quickly from several online sources, including Newsday and, and from my conversation on Friday with my friend Paul Mendelsohn, who was there at his normal station, at the helm of the Pura Vida fish stall in the Union Square Greenmarket.

I cook local seafood at home on an average of 3 days a week, and it brings both of us great joy. Almost all of it comes from the 5 or 6 different fishers who sell their catches in the Union Square Greenmarket. I’ve never taken this benison for granted, and I’m always deeply sorry to be dramatically reminded of it by hearing news like this.


Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven.