Nautical News: For the week of June 19th, 2011

Share Button

REWARD OFFERED FOR SEAL SHOOTINGS INFORMATION

The federal agent in charge of investigating the recent seal killings said all six seals found dead on Cape beaches over the past few weeks were shot in the head. Todd Nickerson, an investigator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office of Law Enforcement, said the six dead seals were found on beaches along Nantucket Sound from Stage Harbor in Chatham to Dennisport. If you have any information about who did the shootings, call NOAA investigator Todd Nickerson at 508-990-8752. Tips can be anonymous, but the International Fund for Animal Welfare is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of those responsible for the shootings. Two other groups are also offering an additional $2,500 each bringing the current reward total to $10,000.

MILITARY CANISTER WASHES UP ON BEACH

The state Bomb Squad was called to Nantasket Beach after a couple walking along the beach found a cylinder shaped object that apparently had washed ashore from all the recent storms in the area. The foot long metal canister had the following words printed on it: “Hazardous Material. Call Police or Military if found.” Hull Deputy Fire Chief Christopher Russo said the object was a smoke canister used by the Coast Guard or some other military agency for training purposes, but the problem is that the unused materials inside become unstable if they mix with seawater and can explode. The device was taken to the town’s former landfill and detonated without incident.

MAN FALLS OFF ROCKS WHILE FISHING AND DROWNS

Authorities say a 20-year old Waltham, Massachusetts man died while fishing on the rocks in Rockport. The young man either slipped or was swept off the rocks by a large wave near Pebble Beach in Rockport. A friend said he heard him yell, and when he turned around he was gone. His body washed ashore nearly an hour later about 100 yards from where he fell into the water.

RECORD LOW NUMBER OF BOATING FATALITIES IN 2010

The Coast Guard announced its official 2010 recreational boating statistics. Boating fatalities fell to a record low of 672. Alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. The other four major contributing factors in accidents were operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, and excessive speed. The Coast Guard said it credits their patrols, boardings, and the auxiliary’s safe boating courses for the low fatality rate.

BOAT OWNER SINKS BOAT FOR INSURANCE MONEY

A New Jersey boat owner and his three accomplices were indicted and charged with conspiring to sink their boat off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey to collect a $400,000 insurance payment. FBI agents arrested the men after they determined the four engaged in a scheme to sink their boat named the Alexander II. They were also charged with fraud and perjury after making false statements to the Coast Guard. The four took the boat 86 miles offshore and then let the boat fill with sea water. As the boat was sinking, they sent a distress signal to the Coast Guard and abandoned ship together into a life raft. The Coast Guard soon found the men and brought them back to shore. They now face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of twice the amount of the loss they caused.

RADIATION FOUND IN JAPANESE WHALE MEAT

The Japanese government now has a good reason to stop their annual whale hunt. Japanese whale meat has been found too contain radioactive material as a result of their nuclear power plant meltdown. The Japanese public and some marine life experts have voiced fears that radioactive material in the sea would concentrate among large marine creatures at the top of the food chain that live for a long time.

STYRENE LISTED AS A CARCINOGEN

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has listed styrene as a carcinogen. In addition to being used in hot cups and thousands of other products, styrene is also used in the building of fiberglass boats. A coalition of groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association, fought against the listing of styrene as a carcinogen, saying additional reviews were needed, and that European scientists disagreed with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ report.

NEW PROTECTIONS FOR GULF OF MAINE STURGEON

Federal regulators are proposing new protections for the Gulf of Maine sturgeon until a decision is made to list the fish as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. NOAA said it will propose banning the taking of any sturgeon except for scientific research while officials consider a proposal listing the population as threatened. A decision on the listing proposal is expected in the fall. The slowly reproducing fish were once abundant along the East Coast and sought for their salty eggs. Scientists claim they were driven nearly to extinction by the caviar industry at the end of the 19th century.

DIVER TO SEARCH FOR BIN LADEN’S BODY

A California salvage diver has vowed to scour the North Arabian Sea to find the body of Osama Bin Laden. The diver, who has discovered more than 200 wrecks, is confident he will find Bin Laden’s body, and after he does, he will photograph to show the world proof that Bin Laden was killed. He expects to spend about $400,000 next month for this mission. He plans to rent a ship in India for $10,000 a day, and spend another $1,000 a day for a remote controlled submarine. Even if he should not find the body, he said there is still a good chance he might find a treasure or historic shipwreck.

About John Shea