Nautical News: For the week of October 7th, 2012

THREE WOMEN DIE AS CAR GOES INTO WATER

The bodies of three women have been recovered from a car that drove off a pier into the water at the Newport Rhode Island Shipyard after apparently missing a turn in pea soup fog. A diver with the Newport Fire Department found the three women inside the car that was lying upside down in four feet of water. The car had been in the water for at least several hours before an oil delivery man spotted it.


OCTOBER IS NATIONAL SEAFOOD MONTH

October is National Seafood Month, a time to highlight smart seafood choices, sustainable fisheries, and the health benefits of eating a diet rich in seafood. NOAA also claims that it is an opportunity to illustrate U.S. fisheries successes and challenges as we turn the corner on ending overfishing and begin to rebuild fish stocks. Recreational and commercial fishing is a $72 billion per year business in the United States and that business is vital to the economies of our coastal communities. However, over 84 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported contributing to a $9 billion annual seafood trade deficit.


BODY OF KAYAKER MISSING FOR A MONTH FOUND 7 MILES OFFSHORE

On the north shore of Boston, fishermen found the body of a kayaker whose girlfriend reported missing nearly a month ago. The body of the 23 year old man was found seven miles off the coast of Gloucester. When the girlfriend reported him missing, she said he was not wearing a shirt or a life jacket. At the time, the Coast Guard and local authorities searched into the night and found his kayak, but never found the young man.


LOCAL BOAT AND WATERFRONT WRITER PASSES AWAY

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Tink Martin who wrote the weekly article “Around the Waterfront” for the Winthrop Transcript newspaper. Tink also co-authored the book “A Cruising Guide to Narragansett Bay and The South Coast of Massachusetts” and was a contributing writer to A Cruising Guide to the New England Coast, the Boating Almanac, and previously wrote a column for Offshore Magazine.


COAST GUARD CALLED TO DISENTANGLE LEATHERBACK SEA TURTLE

This past Friday, the Coast Guard was called to save an entangled leatherback sea turtle in Cape Cod Bay, not too far from the Cape Cod Canal. The International Fund for Animal Welfare contacted the Coast Guard about a 300 to 400 pound, endangered, leatherback sea turtle that had become entangled with a lobster trap. Personnel from the IFAW went aboard the Coast Guard boat and used grappling hooks to remove the lines from the turtle’s flippers and then watched the animal swim away, apparently unhurt.


BOATS ON TRAILERS PRIME TARGETS FOR THIEVES

According to a recent study done by Boat/U.S. based on their marine insurance claims, boats on trailers were prime targets for thieves. To prevent your boat from becoming a target, Boat/U.S. recommends removing the trailer’s wheels if the boat is stored outside. This will also prolong the life of the tires. Do not store the boat in a driveway with the tongue of the trailer facing the road. At a minimum, the tongue should be locked and face away from the road.


50 COUNTRIES SIGN SHARK CONSERVATION TREATY

Government representatives from 50 countries have gathered in Germany to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks. Since migratory sharks cross the high seas and national waters of different states, closer collaboration between countries is needed to tackle over-fishing and other threats. Under the agreement, the countries agree to exchange information about the distribution of shark populations. Governments will now work together to avoid the capture of two of the largest sharks in the world: the basking shark and great white shark. The new conservation plan also suggests that sharks be landed with their fins still attached in order to prevent shark “finning.” It is estimated that up to 73 million sharks are killed every year just for their fins. Sharks are also sought for meat and liver oil and for their cartilage skeletons.


SUPREME COURT DECIDING IF FLOATING HOME IS A BOAT

This past week the U.S. Supreme Court struggled with what kind of floating structures fall under maritime law and whether a floating home is a house or a boat. Their decision could have a huge impact on floating casinos, hotels, and restaurants. The case came before the court after a Florida man’s floating home was seized by the city of Riviera Beach under U.S. maritime law after he refused to vacate the dock at a marina. The man argued that the city had no right to apply maritime law to his home because it had no engines, no bilge pumps, no steering mechanism, no lights, and could not move under its own power. The current legal description of a vessel under U.S. maritime law is something that “floats, moves, and carries people or things on water.”


CRUISE SHIP PASSENGER CAUGHT STEALING A PAINTING OFF WALL

A cruise ship passenger was caught stealing a copy of a famous oil painting by Rembrandt while aboard a cruise ship heading for Bermuda. The passenger removed the painting off the wall of a Norwegian Star cruise ship and was caught while trying to leave the ship in Bermuda. The guilty party’s defense lawyer stated that his client was a recovering drug addict who had been taking a medication to treat opiate withdrawal. The passenger was not allowed back on the ship and had to make alternative travel plans to return to the United States.


FISHERMAN FINDS LARGE MASTODON TOOTH

And last on today’s nautical news, a fisherman walking in the drought affected San Antonio River in Texas stumbled upon a tooth bigger than the size of his two fists. He believes it is a molar tooth from a mastodon and apparently experts agreed. The mammoth-related beasts became extinct 11,000 years ago. Mastodon teeth are considered collectibles and can be bought on eBay. So far the fisherman has turned down a bid of $500 for the tooth and said he might donate the tooth to a museum or college instead of selling it.


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