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Woman, 101, Still Working Dangerous Job With 78 and 79-Year-Old Sons

Dominic Smithers

| Last updated 

Woman, 101, Still Working Dangerous Job With 78 and 79-Year-Old Sons

Featured Image Credit: 207 News Center Maine

While most of us plan on winding down once we reach our 60s or maybe 70s, one woman is still putting a shift in at 101. See her in action below:


Virginia Oliver, from Maine, US, is one of the oldest lobster trappers around, getting out onto the open seas with her 78-year-old son Max three times a week between May and November.

And it's a dangerous job, with the centenarian suffering a fair few scrapes in her time, most recently in need of seven stitches after injuring herself.

She told local news: "And the doctor said to me, 'What are you out there lobstering for?', she said. And I said, 'Because I want to'.

"Well, I don't care what he thought!"

Virginia has been lobstering since she was just eight years old, just before the Great Depression hit.

She said: "I grew up with this. It's not hard work for me. It might be for somebody else, but not me."

Credit: CBS News
Credit: CBS News

She told the Boston Globe: "When I first started, there weren't any women but me.

"My husband and I used to go out in all kinds of weather. There aren't as many lobsters today, though. They're way overfished, like everything else."

Over 90 years later, she's still at it, with Virginia and Max waking at 3am for their shift and getting to bed at 10pm.

With Max driving the boat and pulling in the catches, his mum's job is to measure the lobsters, chucking the small ones and banding the larger ones.

And with her putting in a shift for most of her life, Virginia says she wouldn't be too happy if her son said he didn't fancy going one day, adding: "No. I wouldn't put up with the stuff."

Speaking about his mother's courage and persistence, Max said: "She doesn't give up."

Credit: CBS News
Credit: CBS News

But it's not just Max who has followed in his mother's footsteps and work ethic, her other son, Bill, 79, also likes to get out onto the sea.

He joked: "Someone asked me, why don't you retire? I said, 'I can't. My mother would break my neck'.

"I've always been pretty active and hard-working, and I can't see sitting around doing nothing. You keep moving, and I think you're a lot better off."

And Virginia won't even entertain the idea of putting her feet up just yet.

When asked how long she plans on lobstering for, she said: "Until I die, and I don't know when that will be."

Topics: Sea, Animals

Dominic Smithers
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