Nautical News: For the week of November 25th, 2012

FISHING BOAT SINKS OFF CAPE COD

A 40 foot scallop boat named Twin Lights out of Provincetown Cape Cod sank about two miles off Race Point last Sunday, presumably taking its captain with it to the bottom. Coast Guard Station Woods Hole received a call from the lobster boat Glutton who told them the scallop boat capsized after becoming entangled in a line of lobster pots. The fishermen aboard the Glutton were able to rescue the mate aboard the scallop boat. He was identified as Eric Rego, but the captain, 69 year old Jean Frottier, was believed to be still inside the boat when it sank. Air Station Cape Cod sent a helicopter and a Falcon jet to the area to search for the man along with two Coast Guard cutters and Massachusetts State Police divers, but after several hours of searching, the mission changed from a rescue into a recovery. Officials said there was no hope the captain could have survived in the 50-degree water after several hours passed. The vessel was located the next day using sidescan sonar. It is lying on the bottom in 198 feet of water. An investigation of the incident is under way by the Coast Guard.


DEAD WHALE WASHES UP ON NANTASKET BEACH

A 20-foot long dead pilot whale washed up on the rocks at the end of Nantasket Beach at the base of Allerton hill. A spokesman from the New England Aquarium said that it is not unusual for a few dead pilot whales to wash up somewhere on the Massachusetts beach every year. They are quite common and not an endangered species. Because this dead whale is badly decomposed, a necropsy will not be performed. However, aquarium biologists were in the process of taking tissue samples. Officials said that there were no obvious signs of trauma to the whale, so it probably died a natural death. Pilot whales are members of the dolphin family and are common in the North Atlantic. They can grow up to 25 feet in length, weigh two and half tons, and can live 60 years. This is the second dead whale washed ashore off Hull in as many months. Neighbors hope a high tide takes the whale back to sea because they say it really smells pretty bad.


SEVEN OF EIGHT DOLPHINS RESCUED FROM MUD

Seven of eight dolphins were rescued after getting stuck in the mud at low tide in the Herring River in Welfleet Cape Cod. One dolphin was found dead when the rescuers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team arrived at the scene. Four of the dolphins were physically carried out of the mud and given exams in a rescue trailer before released into deeper water. Volunteers from AmeriCorps and the National Park Service also assisted in the release of the animals.


BOAT DESTROYED BY FIRE IN FALMOUTH

A fire destroyed a working boat docked in Quissett Harbor, Falmouth, Thanksgiving night, making it the second major fire in the harbor in the past year. When firefighters arrived, the 32-foot boat, which was used for moorings in the harbor, was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and nobody was injured. Falmouth fire chief said foul play did not appear to be a factor. Last January, a fire destroyed a boatyard warehouse on the harbor.


150,000 HERRING TO RETURN TO PLYMOUTH’S HERRING RUN

The herring runs of Town Brook, which empties into Plymouth Harbor just 300 feet from Plymouth Rock, were an important resource for the first Americans. Both Pilgrims and the Wampanoags ate the herring, and the Wampanoags also taught the Pilgrims how to fertilize their crops using the herring. Those crops they grew were part of the festivities at what has become known as the first Thanksgiving. Now because of the clean up effort by volunteers, NOAA Fisheries expect 150,000 herring to swim up Town Brook to spawn this spring.


ICCAT GRANTS SMALL INCREASE TO BLUE FIN TUNA QUOTA

The international commission for the conservation of the Atlantic bluefin tuna has agreed to a slight increase in the 2013 blue fin quota despite signs of an improvement in stocks of the bluefin, the world’s most valuable fish. This year’s meeting was in stark contrast to previous years when conservationists fought for quota reductions claiming the blue fin tuna stock was on the verge of collapse. Scientists this year said the Atlantic blue fin stock showed “a clear increase.”


WOMAN DROWNS AFTER FALLING OFF DIVE BOAT

A 54 year old woman on vacation in Florida drowned on Thanksgiving after a commercial dive boat she was on capsized in the Hillsborough Inlet. The captain of the 45 foot Coral Princess catamaran said he did everything he could to keep the boat upright after a wave hit it from behind as he was entering the inlet. Officials said nearby boaters jumped into the water to pull people to safety. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue workers used personal watercraft to get to the site. The inlet is known for its accidents and is not considered an all weather inlet


SPIRE FOR WORLD TRADE CENTER SHIPPED ON BARGE

The spire that goes atop One World Trade Center is making its way to New York city on a barge. It is en route to New York City on a 1,500 nautical mile journey from Canada. The tug and barge left Quebec on November 16th and is expected to arrive early next week at Port Newark. The sections of spire on the barge range in weight from five tons to more than 67 tons. Once the 408-foot spire is installed atop One World Trade, the building will stand 1,776 feet tall, making it the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. Installation is expected to take approximately three months, depending upon weather conditions.


POLICE THOUGHT HUMAN REMAINS FOUND ON BEACH

A person walking their dog reported that they found what they believed to be human remains on Nantasket beach. The Hull Police department responded to investigate and called the Massachusetts State Police. The State Police CPAC Unit (CPAC is crime prevention and control) determined that the Medical Examiner’s office should be summonsed. News station helicopters flew overhead. The Medical Examiner arrived on scene and determined what everyone was looking at was the remains of a seal.


COAST GUARD CUTTER DELIVERS XMAS TREES TO NEEDY

And last on today’s nautical news, the Coast Guard has loaded 1,300 Christmas trees aboard Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, for delivery down Lake Michigan to Chicago. It is an annual tradition. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the three masted schooner named the Rouse Simmons. That was the original Christmas tree ship. It sank on Lake Michigan in November, 1912, during a violent storm carrying 5500 Christmas trees. A load far too heavy for the schooner to handle. At the helm was Captain Schuenemann. In 2000, the Coast Guard began transporting Christmas trees to Chicago for needy families while tending to buoys and other navigation marks on Lake Michigan. This year the Coast Guard will drop a wreath at the site of the 1912 wreck to remember the Rouse Simmons on its way to Chicago.

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