Nautical News: For the week of July 15th, 2012

TOWN OF MARSHFIED GETS GRANT FOR NEW HARBORMASTER BOAT

The town of Marshfield could receive a $290,000 Homeland Security grant for a new 30 foot harbormaster boat if the upcoming town meeting approves. The grant would require a 25 percent match in funds from the town, which would be approximately $72,000, making the total cost for the boat about $362,000. The boat would replace the harbormaster department’s current primary one, which is 25 feet long and 13 years old. The new boat would have built in state of the art electronics, including GPS, radar, and an infrared system. The harbormaster said he needed a bigger boat because the Coast Guard closes their Scituate station between September and May, so if a vessel was sinking 10 miles off the coast of Marshfield, it would be his department that would respond.


STRIPED BASS WITH RED LESIONS WANTED

Paul Caruso, the Senior Marine Fisheries Biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries wants to know how many people are catching striped bass that have red lesions on them. He would like a sample or two if anybody is willing to donate their fish for science. A few weeks ago a woman called in telling us that fishermen were seeing the red lesions on striped bass caught in the Cape Cod Canal. At that time, I had heard that the red lesions were not harmful to the meat after they were removed. In the past, scientists to our south believed the lesions were Caused from fertilizer used on farms along the banks of the Chesapeake Bay.


YELLOWTAIL FLOUNDER QUOTA TRANSFERED FROM SCALLOPERS

The National Marine Fisheries Service just approved the transfer of approximately 332,000 pounds of Georges Bank yellowtail flounder quota from scallop fishermen to New England groundfishermen. The transfer, which was supported by both fishing groups, is intended to provide some desperately needed relief to the New England groundfishermen. Previously, the fish managers had reduced the groundfishermen’s yellowtail quota by 80 percent this year while the scallopers received only a 31 percent reduction. Since scallopers inadvertently catch yellowtail flounder while towing for scallops, fishery managers have been dividing the yellowtail quota between the two fisheries.


SCITUATE WOMAN CHARGED WITH 5TH BOATING WHILE INTOXICATED

A woman who ran a boat aground in the South River has been charged with her fifth offense of driving a boat under the influence of alcohol. Police identified her as a 47 year old woman who lived on Brook Street in Scituate. She screamed at police officers as they boarded the boat and towed it to the Ridge Road boat ramp in Marshfield. Bail was set at $10,000. Additional charges are pending after she told police she had stolen the boat from Quincy, but at last check, Quincy Police were unable to confirm whether a boat had been reported stolen.


TRANSCRIPT OF COSTA CONCORDIA BLACK BOX PUBLISHED

A transcript of the black box that was on the wreck of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia was just published in an Italian newspaper. It indicated that Captain Francesco Schettino was in fact “saluting” a colleague ashore when the ship struck a reef and rolled over last January. The transcript revealed what the ship’s officers were saying immediately after the trouble began. One officer is heard screaming, “Our ass is dragging along the seabed!” The captain then asks, “What did we hit?” Someone replies, “The reef.” Another officer said, “It was the salute that he wanted.” “The salute” referred to a maneuver Captain Schettino allegedly agreed to perform to acknowledge a friend on the island.


COSTA CONCORDIA’S OFFERS OF SETTLEMENT DISPUTED

In a related story, MSNBC describes the fight that the thousands of survivors and family members of the 39 lost passengers are waging against Costa Cruise Lines. Six months after the disaster, they are challenging the $14,000 settlements the cruise line has offered to the survivors and the $75,000 to the estates of the 39 who lost their lives. Costa Concordia attorneys said the terms of the ticket agreement require passengers who want to challenge the settlement offers to do so in an Italian court. Furthermore, the tickets limit the liability for loss of life to $75,000.


COAST GUARD RESCUES SAILBOAT TAKING ON WATER OFF NEWPORT. RI

The Coast Guard helped pump out a 43 foot sailboat that was taking on water about 10 miles off the coast of Newport. The call for help came in around 1 p.m. from the sailboat stating there were two men and two dogs on board. Multiple Coast Guard units, including a helicopter crew, responded and used a pump to bail out the water. The sailboat was able to continue its voyage to Block Island where repairs would be made.


FLORIDA LEADS COUNTRY WITH MOST BOATING ACCIDENTS

Florida leads the country again with the most boating accidents and fatalities in the United States. The numbers were released by Florida officials accidents earlier this week, and according to the report, there were 742 boating accidents in 2011 that caused 67 fatalities. Officials said the numbers are not surprising because in Florida, boating is a year-round activity. The state is also one of the top three states in the country with the most registered boats and may also be the leader with the most visiting boats.


COAST GUARD’S “ANCIENT MARINER” RETIRES

Chief Warrant Officer Thomas J. Guthlein, the former commanding officer of Station Castle Hill Rhode Island and before that Pt Allerton in Hull Massachusetts retired after a distinguished Coast Guard career. Tom Guthlein was also one of the Flying Santas and a former Ancient Keeper. Guthlein started his Coast Guard career in the reserves in 1978 and has been on active duty since 1982. He received a commission as chief warrant officer in June 1998. At his retiring ceremony was Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr., Coast Guard Commandant and Coast Guard Ancient Mariner. For most, being called “ancient” isn’t a good thing, but in the Coast Guard, being an Ancient is a tradition steeped in the Service’s history. The Joshua James Ancient Keeper Award is named for Capt. Joshua James, a celebrated lifesaver in Coast Guard history who saved 626 lives off the coast of Hull.


DIVER CATCHES 21 POUND LOBSTER OFF CAPE COD BEACH

A huge lobster was caught off Nauset Beach. The lobster weighed 21 pounds and was almost 3 feet long. It will be on display for the next few days at Capt’n Elmer’s Restaurant and Fish Market in Orleans Cape Cod before being offered for sale.


SCIENTIST SAID SHARK FOLLOWING KAYAKER WAS BASKING SHARK

The photo of a shark’s fin following a kayaker off Orleans Beach last week went viral on YouTube, but biologist Greg Skomal of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries said that the shark was probably not a great white but instead a basking shark. Skomal said judging from the photo and the descriptions given to him from the Orleans harbormaster’s office, the shape of the fin was that of a basking shark. A basking shark’s fin is more tapered and rounded at the top whereas a great white’s fin has a sharper point. He also said that a great white doesn’t linger on the surface, but a basking shark does. “All the great whites in this area are associated with the bottom,” Skomal said. Basking sharks are actually larger than great whites; in fact, they are the second biggest fish in the ocean.


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