The voyage across the Atlantic had been uneventful, which was a good thing. No storms, no Somali pirates, not even other commercial ships passing close by. I hoped the second half of the journey went as smoothly as I finished my smoke break on outer deck. Right then, my walkie squawked.
“Mason, we’re picking up a distress signal about an hour north. Do what you need to do so you’re on hand in case we need to pull some people out of the briny.”
I radioed back an OK and headed off to get some rope and a few flashlights.
We found the deep sea fishing boat floating with only one small backup generator power a few running lights. No one was standing on the bow, nor did they respond to our hails. Two other crewmembers and I got into a Zodiac and docked with the boat. No one responded to our shouts.
The boat looked like it had just been abandoned; clean, with a few tools strewn about. Belowdecks was a different story. Sticky blood completely covered the floor. Partially congealed clots hung to the walls and ceiling like gelatin. But for the blood, there was still no sign of the crew.
We continued searching, and found a horrid stench coming from the engine room. In the back, tucked under the engine housing, a trail of gore leading to it, was a pouch that seemed to be constructed from skin. Around it lay several orbs that looked like giant fish or tadpole eggs. Something inside the pouch moved. We ran. It wasn’t until I showered that I saw the bite marks on my thigh.