Tom (my uncle not my brother) and Peter were avid divers. Many of Peter’s early works were wrapped in diving and he tried to merge his love of drawing, photography and diving. Tom died in June of 1960 in a diving accident. This photo was taken behind the house at 18 Haven (now 38 Haven).
From the Gloucester Daily Times – Monday, June 20, 1960
Rockport Skin Diver in Mysterious Drowning
Body is Found Today – Youth Using Snorkel Device
Rockport – A 21 year old Pigeon Cove resident who has been skin diving for three years was mysteriously drowned here Sunday.
The body of Thomas Mullen Vincent of 18 Haven Avenue was found at 8:07 this morning by a commercial diver, in 35 feet of water about 35 yards east of Loblolly Cove Ledge…
When the body was recovered, diving mask. Snorkel, flippers, a quick-release lead belt weighing about 10 pounds, and rubber pants and jacket were still in place.
VINCENT’S SCUBA self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, diving outfit was in his auto parked near the shore.
Vincent left his home about 1:30 p.m. yesterday to spend the afternoon first at Back Beach and then in the Loblolly area joining others in the sport…
Joseph D. O’Neill, 28, of 8 Cove Hill Lane was one of these. A free-lance diver, who does commercial work, he was praised by others of the search party for the speed in which he located the body at the ocean bottom. It took O’Neill only 20 minutes.
PAYNOTTA, a personal friend of Vincent, commented today, “Tom was an experienced Scuba diver and snorkeler. He had been doing it for three years. He was not in the habit of going alone. He went down there with the intent of diving with others. There were skin divers all over the area. Whatever happened, there was no negligence involved. His belt was of the quick release kind that can be released in a second. It must have been a stomach cramp or heart attack.”
Vincent, according to his father, had three prominent interests, astronomy, photography and skin diving in all of which he excelled. He possessed one of the largest telescopes in this area. In photography, he had done national advertising, including General Motors Acceptance Corp. He had also worked with his father in advertising.
At Greenwich Conn. High School, he was a track star. He transferred to Rockport High in his senior year and was graduated in 1959. He planned to enter the Navy next month.
RIP Tom and Peter