BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) — A local shrimper in Beaufort lost everything in a boat fire last weekend. Now, the community is rallying behind him to help get him back on the water.

The Lady Logan was owned by Jerry Kellum for the last eight years.

“When I started shrimping, I played in the creek when I was about 6 years old and I loved it,” said Jerry. 

He’s carried on the shrimping tradition of his family for over 50 years. Then, last Friday, his most prized possession and way of income was destroyed.

“I got in about 10:30 from shrimping on the straits, and I left and the boat was fine. They call me about three o’clock, it was on fire and that was it from there,” said Kellum.

“Almost no commercial fishermen have insurance not because they don’t want it, because we do that because they either will not insure us or it’s the insurance cost more than what your boat is valued at, so insurance is not really an option for probably 99% of commercial fishing on smaller boats,” said his wife, Patricia. 

The Town of Beaufort Fire Marshal Robert Smith determined the cause of the fire was accidental due to a mechanical failure. Now the community is working to pick up the pieces.

“You just cannot talk about how good people have been, because it’s just beyond what we ever hoped or thought would be, and we are very, very grateful,” added Patricia.

When the word got around about the fire, Miss Gina’s Fresh Shrimp took to social media to share a GoFundMe page to help support the commercial fisherman, raising over $8,000 so far. 

“Sometimes it’s just a small act of kindness that keeps people going in a time of devastation, and so that’s why we did it,” said Monica Smith from Miss Gina’s Fresh Shrimp. “Every person who has donated, the 700 people that have shared that post that I made, the thousands of people that are reading it, and are praying for them …they’re what did this.”

Miss Gina’s Fresh Shrimp is also raffling off shrimp for donations, with all the money going back to helping Jerry and Patricia.

For more information on Miss Gina’s Fresh Shrimp, click here.