WARREN – A sculptor is doing something special to memorialize those lost in the sinking of SS El Faro.
“There’s a lot of compassion about this,” said Jay Sawyer, sculptor for Studio JBONE. “I mean I‘d even go so far as to say there’s a need for this in this area.”
Jay Sawyer is crafting a memorial, called “El Faro Salute,” to honor the 33 people lost when the ship sank off the coast of the Bahamas on Oct.1, 2015.
“It definitely hit close to home here shortly after the sinking,” Sawyer said.
Five of the crew members were graduates of the Maine Maritime Academy, and Sawyer is a graduate himself.
“It’s meant to, you know, show your honor for the crew that was lost and also to pay respects to the surviving family members and other loved ones and promote healing,” Sawyer said.
He will be sculpting the “El Faro Salute” in his studio using tools, like an antique hydraulic press.
“It worked in that there’s a Maritime Officer’s uniform, a male and a female uniform, and a torso shot more or less,” Sawyer said. “They’ll have their high pressure hat on the male and the female bonnet. It’d be in a full salute position, so hence the title.”
Sawyer said the sculpture will be installed in the south end of Rockland on the Rockland Harbor Trail and hopes it will be there by next summer.
“I couldn’t think of a better location for this,” Sawyer said. “Right away, I knew I wanted it to be in Rockland being that two crew members lived there. That was their home. They grew up there.”
The Penobscot Marine Museum is sponsoring the project, and donations can be made on elfarosalute.com