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Frank Miliano and his crew have dredged up their fair share of odd items while dragging for sea urchins in waters near Eastport, Maine.
But when Miliano’s deckhand passed him a weathered Nova Scotia health card bearing Alexander P. Doyle’s name and signature on Dec. 27, he immediately started crying.
“I realized what it was and I got goosebumps,” Miliano said.
Eleven years ago, Doyle travelled from Indian Brook to Pleasant Point, Maine, to visit his younger brother Miliano.
The pair were out at a party when Doyle, 28, left with a girl. That was the last time Miliano saw him.
“Three days later, his body was found in the water,” Miliano said.
Miliano was devastated. Although they didn’t know each other growing up — Doyle was adopted and Miliano remained in foster care — they became close after meeting in 2000.
“It was like we always knew each other. It was really a true brother’s bond, but it was short-lived,” he said.
“I’ve always questioned what happened to him the night we lost him.”
Miliano said he thinks about his brother every day he sets out to fish on the sea he lost his brother to.
The crew usually picks one spot to drag until they reach their quota, but Miliano decided to try different areas the day of the discovery.
Doyle’s health card, dragged in with the last tray of the day, was found less than 10 kilometres away from where his body was found. While the card’s colour has faded, it was still in one piece.
“We drag up all kinds of garbage, different sea life, old bottles and cans, but this one took the cake,” Miliano said.
“My brother’s card managed to hold on all them years for me.”
Miliano plans to keep the card and give it to his kids so they can share the story with their kids in the future. He’s also considering getting a tattoo of Doyle’s signature.
“Just the chances of me finding it is comparable to winning the lottery,” Miliano said.
“There are no words. It was meant for me to be there at that exact time.”
So today while dragging for sea urchins the strangest thing happened. We usually pick one spot and drag until we reach...Posted by Frank Joseph Miliano on Friday, 27 December 2019