Nautical News: For the week of December 9th, 2012

LOBSTERMAN SAVED AFTER FALLING OVERBOARD

Disaster was averted after a 73-year old man fell overboard from a Marshfield lobster boat into the cold water off Cape Cod. He was rescued by his son about 10 miles off the coast off Provincetown. A nearby boater who saw the man in the water called the Coast Guard. It took a rescue boat from the Coast Guard Station Provincetown about 10 minutes to get on scene, but by that time, the victim’s son who was onboard the lobster boat, managed to get his father back on to the boat. The man was cold, but denied medical attention. Last week, a Quincy lobsterman was not as lucky. He died after falling into the water.


MAN LIVING ON A DOCK IN BOSTON HARBOR UNDER A TENT

The Coast Guard said they are aware of a man sleeping in a tent on a dock tied to a mooring in Boston Harbor. He has a canoe tied to the dock that he uses to paddle ashore. Officials said he is not in violation of any laws. The man has been identified as Michael Richard Smith. He is 49 years old and has been paddling around Boston harbor since October with all his possessions aboard a 14-foot, 40-year-old aluminum canoe that is patched with duct tape. The man said he is not homeless and feels safer sleeping out in the harbor than on land.


COAST GUARDSMAN KILLED AFTER BOAT RAMMED BY DRUG SMUGGLERS

A Coast Guardsman fired several gunshots from a rigid inflatable boat before it was slammed by a drug smuggling vessel near the California-Mexico border. The crash caused the first American law enforcement fatality since the smuggling of drugs and immigrants by boat began spiking along the California coast several years ago. Two Mexican nationals were arrested. Thirty-four year old Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III died from head trauma after falling overboard and then struck by one of the boat’s propellers. More than 1000 people attended the Coast Guardsman funeral.


FERRY BOAT CAPTAIN RECEIVES COAST GUARD LIFESAVING AWARD

A Steamship Authority captain, Capt. Raymond Oliver, received an award from the Coast Guard for his quick action that saved the lives of three fishermen last August. On August 12, Captain Oliver was piloting the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority ferry Gay Head and at about 6 p.m. on that day, the Coast Guard radioed him that a 48 foot fishing boat was in distress near his location in Nantucket Sound. Oliver diverted the ferry, which was carrying passengers, to look for the boat. When he found it, he saw the boat was sinking rapidly and one of the fishermen was in the water. Captain Oliver ordered the ferry’s rescue boat to be dropped in the water and with the help of his crew, the three fishermen were safely pulled onboard the ferry. Minutes later, the fishing boat sank.


GOLDEN RETRIEVER ENLISTS IN COAST GUARD

Buddy, a two-year old golden retriever, has become the official mascot of Coast Guard Station Menemsha. A special induction ceremony was held last week for the dog. The crew assembled in front of the station, where Station Chief Jason Olsen read from their new member’s certificate of enlistment: “Be it known that Buddy, in selfless service to his country and affirming the oath of enlistment in the United States Armed Forces, hereby enlists in the United States Coast Guard at the rank of Seaman Recruit, the rank as such until advanced by competent authority.” Buddy sealed the deal by giving his paw to Chief Olsen’s hand. As a new enlistee, Buddy will participate in an abbreviated doggy version of boot camp, which will likely consist of a few runs around the property and practicing the “sit” command.


TOWNS ON CAPE COD WORRY ABOUT GREAT WHITE SHARKS

Ten towns on Cape Cod and Nantucket are putting their resources together to learn more about the great white sharks that are swimming near their beaches. Officials are concerned that the sharks will have a negative affect on the Cape’s economy. They hope the government will approve a $262,500 grant to continue and expand a tagging program and print signs warning and educating the beach going tourists. Seventeen great white sharks were tagged last summer by the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries. Last summer a man from Denver swimming on Cape Cod was bitten by a great white. The last time a person was attacked by a great white on the Cape was back in 1936.


FATHER FALLS OFF MOVING BOAT WITH 4 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER ON BOARD

In Florida, the skipper of a 19 foot power boat fell overboard after colliding with a dock, allowing the boat to continue at top speed with only his 4 year old daughter on board. The boat eventually came to a stop after going aground in a waterfront home’s backyard. Police rescued the 36 year old man in the water and charged him with boating under the influence with property damage, child abuse, and probation violation. Police said the man had three previous convictions for driving a car under the influence. Miraculously, the little girl on the boat and nobody on land were injured.


20 FOOT BOAT FROM JAPAN FOUND ON HAWAII BEACH

A 20-foot boat found on a Hawaii beach has been confirmed as coming from Japan. The boat was lost during last year’s tsunami and drifted across the Pacific. Marine organisms that were found attached to the boat were not endemic to Hawaii. Also the boat’s name and identification papers were written in Japanese. The state’s department of health tested the boat for radiation and nothing above normal was found.


ONLY 25% OF SPECIES IDENTIFIED IN OCEAN

A comprehensive study by an international group of scientists suggests that the global oceans may be home to up to one million species, of which only about 226,000 have been identified and described to date. This means that as much as 75 percent of all marine species have yet to be discovered. The rate of discovery has accelerated in recent decades, and most unknown species could be identified, named, and described by the end of this century


TURTLES STUNNED BY COLD WATER FLOWN TO FLORIDA

Every year in late Fall, endangered ridley kemp sea turtles get stunned by the cold change in sea water temperature and end up on Cape Cod beaches. This year more than 200 turtles have been found stranded on Cape Cod beaches. The turtles that survive are brought to the New England Aquarium hospital in Quincy where they are nursed back to health. This year the aquarium’s hospital has reached its capacity, so in order to make room for more turtles, three dozen turtles were loaded into a Coast Guard plane and taken to Florida. In addition to the Coast Guard, other government agencies involved with saving the turtles are NOAA Fisheries and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

About John Shea