ROCKLAND — The family of a Rockland crew member lost when the cargo ship El Faro sank off the Bahamas during a hurricane more than four years ago is on its way to Florida with a truck load of wreaths earmarked for a memorial for the crew.
Several family members of Dylan Meklin left Saturday with 34 wreaths – one for each bollard representing the 33 crew members who died as well as a large wreath to adorn the copper lighthouse that is the centerpiece of the memorial.
Deborah Dyer, an aunt of Meklin, said the idea came up in October. Family members got together Dec. 1 and made the wreaths.
Susan St. Clair and Michael Robinson, Meklin’s aunt and uncle, are driving the truckload of wreaths to Jacksonville, Florida. Robinson said Jake Ilvonen of Performance Paving provided the pickup truck.
Meklin, 23, was a third assistant engineer on the El Faro. He was one of two Rockland residents who died when the cargo ship sank on Oct. 1, 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin. The other Rockland crew member was 34-year-old second mate Danielle Randolph. Both graduated from Rockland District High School and Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.
The El Faro had departed from Jacksonville and was on its way to Puerto Rico.
A year after the vessel was lost, Dames Point Park in Jacksonville was revamped and renamed the El Faro Memorial Park. A large cooper lighthouse anchors the memorial. “El Faro” is the Spanish phrase for “the lighthouse.”
Thirty-three bollards were erected in memory of each of the lost crew members.