Nautical News: For the week of September 6th, 2012

NEW FEDERAL INSPECTION LAW FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING BOATS

A new federal law for commercial fishing boats working three or more miles offshore goes into effect on October 16th. They will be required to pass a dockside Coast Guard inspection every other year. Currently, voluntary inspections are done by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. The only time the boats and its safety gear get inspected by the Coast Guard happens at random when a Coast Guard vessel stops or assists the boat at sea.


DEAD GREAT WHITE WASHES UP ON BEACH

A thirteen foot long great white shark washed up dead on a beach on Massachusetts South Coast in Westport, near the Rhode Island border. There are now so many sharks swimming close to shore off Cape Cod that officials have closed those beaches to swimmers. Experts blame the proliferation of seals for attracting the sharks.


THIRTY-NINE DOLPHINS PUSHED BACK TO SEA

Thirty-nine dolphins were moved to deeper water last night after they became stranded on a beach in Wellfleet, Cape Cod. It took animal rescuers about two hours to get the dolphins back into deeper water as the tide came in. So far, the 39 are believed to be safe, but nobody would be surprised if they try to strand again.


TWO MISSING DIVERS FOUND OFF BLOCK ISLAND

The Coast Guard rescued two missing divers in the water near Block Island. Officials said a fishing boat first came upon a diver in the water who said two other friends he went diving with were still missing. The fishing boat immediately called the Coast Guard. A nearby NOAA vessel joined in the search and its crew was the first to spot the two missing divers. The Coast Guard then brought the two back to shore. It was unclear how the divers got separated.


COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR OWNER OF EMPTY KAYAK

The Coast Guard searched for the owner of an empty kayak found adrift off the coast of Gloucester. Because there was no owner contact information label on the kayak, the Coast Guard spent hours using different boats to verify the safety of the last person who used the kayak as well as well trying to return the kayak to its rightful owner. The Coast Guard urges all owners of kayaks and canoes to place contact information labels on their boats. Labels may be obtained from the Coast Guard if needed.


SEARCH SUSPENDED FOR BOY IN NEWPORT, RI HARBOR

The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 17 year old boy who was reported missing in Newport, Rhode Island Harbor. Friends of the missing boy told the boy’s mother the next day that they lost track of the boy after he went in a row boat the previous night. The mother notified authorities, but a lot of time had passed before authorities were notified. The Coast Guard searched more than 620 square miles using 10 boats, but no sign of the boy or the row boat was found. Authorities are investigating the story told by the boy’s friends.


FISHERMEN’S HEAD CRUSHED BETWEEN PIER AND BOAT WHILE DOCKING

A commercial fisherman was severely injured Friday night at Macmillan Pier in Provincetown and had to be MedFlighted to Boston. The fisherman, in his 30s, was attempting to tie the fishing boat to the pier when his head was crushed between the boat and the piling. The man was taken to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, but his condition is unknown. Police are investigating the accident.


INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY NEEDS DREDGING

As the fall season approaches, the snowbirds start their migration south. For boaters, this means a trip down the 70 year old Intracoastal Waterway, but it is in trouble now. The waterway needs dredging and maintenance, something the government is not doing despite its importance to industry and tourism. The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association, an alliance of recreational boating and commercial maritime interests, will convene its 13th annual meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, working to support this year’s theme, “Keep America’s Promise: Restore the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.”


MANUFACTURER CLAIMS BOAT ADRIFT FOR THREE AND A HALF YEARS

Remember we reported a story about two people who fell overboard from their center console boat in a storm off the coast of Nantucket? The men made it safely back to shore, but their boat wasn’t found until three and a half years later when it washed up on to a beach in Spain. The boat was in such a good shape after adrift in the Atlantic for three and a half years, the manufacturer of the boat, Regulator Marine, is bringing the boat back to the states and is holding a reunion party for the boat and its owners. The president of Regulator Marine said she would like to see the boat to end up at the shipwreck museum in Nantucket.


BOY FINDS $63,000 PIECE OF AMBERGRIS ON BEACH

And last on today’s nautical news, an 8 year old boy walking a southern England beach with his father found what he thought was a pretty yellow rock with a smooth, waxy finish. His father helped him identify it. What the boy found was one of the most valuable things a person can find on the beach – ambergris, sometimes known as floating gold, but it is not gold at all. Ambergris is whale vomit. It sounds gross, but ambergris is in big demand to make expensive perfume. A pound of ambergris can sell for as much as $10,000. The boy’s piece was worth about $63,000. Back in 2008, a person found a piece of ambergris that weighed 110 pounds. You do the math. It is over a million dollars.


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