Updated: 12/4/19

According to family members, the body of missing shrimper Anthony Conway has been found just west of Dauphin Island.

Original Story------------

A desperate search continues for a missing shrimper in the Gulf. The Baldwin County man apparently thrown overboard when the 50 foot "Chief" capsized early Friday morning near the mouth of Mobile Bay. His family clinging to hope he'll be found.

"I begged him not to go. But I know he loved being on the water," said Monica Conway, missing fisherman's wife.

Monica says her husband, Anthony "Fish" Conway did what he had to do to support his family. A life-long fisherman -- he was shrimping early Friday morning on the shrimp boat "Chief" when something went terribly wrong.

"They were dragging supposedly and something maybe had grabbed the rigging or the net and spun the boat completely around and flipped it within 15 seconds. It was just so fast," said Monica.

The boats captain (Woody Jones) was rescued by another shrimp boat, while another crew member (Mike Pitts) was recovered on the boat. Meanwhile, the search continues for Conway.

"I know that my husband fought as hard as he could," said Monica.

"Yes he did. No matter what -- I know he got out of that boat I know he did. I just have that feeling. And I know he fought so hard -- I know he did He fought for his family that he loves so much," said Erica Absher, missing fisherman's daughter.

Always keeping in touch with his children when could while on the boat -- he reached out to them on Thanksgiving -- texting Erica and video-chatting with his son Anthony.

"I was happy I got to talk to my dad while he was on the boat... I could actually see what he was doing … he showed me the water. I was like hey where is Woody at .. so he showed me. I seen all three of them. They were all happy because they were doing good," said Anthony.

"The last time - I spoke to my dad - he actually texted me on Thanksgiving and he told me Happy Thanksgiving, Love you... And I said Happy Thanksgiving Daddy, I love you. And if I would have known," cried Erica.

But they know he loved them -- as evident in a text message sent to his son just 15 minutes before the boat capsized -- sent around 4:15 a.m.

"It says: I love you son. I just want the best for you buddy. Maybe I try to hard to protect you. I've got to let go and let GOD and it's not easy so please forgive me for saying things that I don't mean because your my only son and I love you more than you every know," said Anthony. I feel like he is watching over me."

"I told him that is something you want to cherish for the rest of your life. The rest of your life," said Erica.

For now, the family is focusing on better times -- remembering his 49th birthday on November 19th. His wife recalls he was so happy that all three of his children and granddaughter was there to celebrate.

"He loved the card they made him. His expression when he got this card -- was like oh wow -- how did someone do that. He loved the card very much and we're going to keep it," recalled Monica.

They're also keeping hope and praying he'll be found.

"I know he may not be alive, but to have him found would be a lot of closure to the family," said Monica.

The family wants to thank the Coast Guard and all of the volunteers, who continue to search.

Meanwhile, they've set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses. Click here if you'd like to help.

All content © 2019, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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