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Xavier Vega

of New Bedford
Born in Puerto Rico
Age: 29

Mr. Vega attended the Sergeant Willliam H. Carney Academy and studied welding at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School but decided he would like to be a barber. In 2017 he opened Vega's Barber Club in New Bedford. He had survived oseosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, when he was twelve.

Gerald Bretal, 51, and Xavier Vega, 29

NEW BEDFORD - Gerald "Jerry" Bretal, 51, and his step-son, Xavier "Saby" Vega, 29 were lost at sea on Sunday, November 24, 2019 aboard the New Bedford fishing vessel "Leonardo".  Gerald was the husband of Judith Nieves and son of Gerardo Bretal and the late Dora Bretal.  Xavier was the son of Julio Vega and Judith Nieves.

Gerald's family includes his wife; his father; his children, Janelle Bretal, Jocelyn Bretal Tetreault, Jassmyne Bretal Bousquet, step-children, Judinette Vega and the late Xavier Vega; sister Mildred Bretal-Paiva; brother, Yancy Bretal; grandchildren, Logan, Noah, Lincoln and Layla; nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

Xavier's family includes his parents; sister, Judinette Vega and her companion, Jamie Johnson; maternal grandparents, Ana Celia Roman and Cristobal Nieves; paternal grandmother, Mercedes Rosario; aunts, uncles and cousins.

Their memorial service will be conducted on Sunday, March 1, 2020 from 2-4pm in Seaman's Bethal, 15 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740.

The scalloper Leonardo capsized and sank in a storm, about 24 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. The Coast Guard responded to a distress signal sent at 3:18 p.m. with the cutters Cobia and Escanaba, as well as a Jayhawk helicopter.

They found crew member Ernie Garcia in a lifeboat and took him to a hospital. He reported that a rogue wave had struck the boat before the crew was able to don life vests.

The Leonardo was located two weeks later by an ROV robot. It was sitting upright 140 feet down, near where it was reported missing.

The bodies of the other three crew members have not been found.