Mr. Mello was survived by his wife.
The Natalie S. was fishing for swordfish on August 11, 1930, when an electric storm began. Captain Joseph Mello called for his crew to come down from their lookout because of the danger of lightning. John Mello Jr., Fred Grady, and Alphonse Sutherland started down, but John Mello was unable to unfasten his safety strap. Lightning struck the rigging. Mr. Grady and Mr. Sutherland were dazed, but the lightning bolt struck Mr. Mello and killed him instantly.