Nautical News: Nautical News Stories of 2012

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18) 200th BICENTENNIAL WAR 1812 AND TALL SHIPS

America’s Tall Ship, the Coast Guard’s Eagle, and the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat, Old Ironsides, sailed side by side for the first time during Boston’s bicentennial celebration of the War of 1812 and the writing of the Star Spangled banner, as the tall ships from around the world returned to Boston harbor.


17) SIXTEEN YEAR OLD ABBEY SUNDERLAND ATTEMPTS TO SET WORLD RECORD

Sixteen year old Abbey Sunderland attempted to set a Guinness Book World Record for being the youngest person to sail singlehandedly, non stop, around the world. Because she risked her life doing it, the Guinness Book of World Records announced that they would no longer accept entrants into their book from any other child who attempted to do this.


16) TREASURE HUNTERS CLAIM BILLION DOLLARS OF PLATINUM WRECK Attorney Paul Lawton disputed their claim saying there was no treasure on the SS Port Nicholson and that the group was just seeking investors.


15) 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC

The Titanic sank on April 12, 1912, the same day that Fenway Park in Boston opened. Dr.David Gallo of the Woods Hole Oceanogarphic Institute told Nautical Talk Radio listeners how he used a submersible and sonar to map all the artifacts lying on the bottom.


14) CAPTAIN PAUL WATSON

Captain Paul Watson of TV’s Whale Wars fame was jailed in Germany for fighting with shark finners in Costa Rica 10 years ago. Apparently Costa Rica, Germany, and Japan had trade agreements with one another and worked together to get Watson arrested. However, Watson posted a bail bond in Germany and then took off, managing somehow to travel through 5 countries without a passport, to get back on to his boat, the Steve Irwin. Watson said he will now resume the battle with the Japanese whale boats.


13) AMERICA’S CUP WORLD SERIES RACES RETURNED TO NEWPORT, RI

The last time the America’s Cup boats raced in Newport, Rhode Island was in 1983.



12) SHARK ATTACK ON CAPE COD

A record number of great white sharks arrived in Chatham Cape Cod to feast on the seals living on Monomy Island. Tourists and swimmers were warned to stay out of the water, but for the first time in Massachusetts since 1936, a great white shark attacked a swimmer.


11) FDA APPROVES SALE OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FISH

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the sale of genetically engineered salmon to the public. The so called frankenfish mixes the genes of salmon with a larger species of fish to make them grow bigger faster. The FDA said the process is not a threat to the salmon population nor a threat to the environment. However, before the FDA’s decision becomes finalized, the public has 60 days to express their comments. One of the primary concerns to the public is whether the genetically modified salmon should be labeled. Now if the public comments are favorable, this will be the first time a scientifically altered animal was approved for food anywhere in the world.


10) SINKING OF THE HMS BOUNTY

The 180 foot long tall ship, H.M.S. Bounty, departed from Connecticut, with a crew of 11 men and five women heading for her winter port in Florida when it got caught in a hurricane. The crew put on their survival gear and abandoned ship into liferafts as the Bounty sank. The Coast Guard was called at the peak of the storm making their response one the agency’s more challenging rescue missions. Fourteen of sixteen crew members were rescued off Cape Hatteras, but the captain, Captain Robin Walbridge, was lost at sea. A female Crewmember also perished. Her body was recovered by the Coast Guard.


9) OCEAN WARMEST IN HISTORY OF RECORD KEEPING

Ocean temperatures from Cape Hatteras, N.C., to the Gulf of Maine were the highest ever recorded from January through June. The previous record high temperatures were set in 1951. Historical records from shipboard data date back to 1854.


8) COMMUTER BOAT SUBSIDIES AND SERVICE CUT

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority cut the subsidies and weekend ferry boat service affecting hundreds of south shore commuters.


7) RECORD NUMBER OF HERRING RETURN TO MASSACHUSETTS

The North/South Rivers Watershed Association reported that Pembroke’s fish run was teeming with herring and the Weymouth Herring run counted more fish than in years! Even twelve herring were spotted in Scituate’s First Herring Brook!


6) NEW HEAD OF NORTHEAST NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES APPOINTED

Former New Bedford Mayor John Bullard was appointed the new head of NOAA’s Northeast regional office in Gloucester. His office is in charge of commercial fishing regulations from Maine to North Carolina. The 65-year-old Bullard said he can make a difference for the fishermen even though his backer for the job was the Environmental Defense Fund, the same group that Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the head of NOAA and the National Marine Fisheries Service, served as its vice president. Bullard succeeded Patricia Kurkul, who retired the previous year.


5) THE MISLABELING OF FISH – FISH FRAUD

DNA tests proved that 76% of the fish markets and restaurants tested were misrepresenting the species of fish they were selling. Some were doing it unknowingly, while others were doing it on purpose. In some cases farm raised fish were being substituted for wild fish, but in all cases of misrepresentation, a cheaper species was substituted for a more valuable species.


4) COAST GUARD HELICOPTER CRASH LEAVES 4 DEAD

A Coast Guard helicopter on a training mission crashed in Mobile Bay in Alabama. All four crewmembers aboard the helicopter were killed. The tail section and the fuselage of the French built helicopter were recovered as was the flight data recorder, which was hoped to be beneficial in determining the cause of the crash. A Coast Guard memorial service was held on March 8, 2012, for the crew.


3) HEAD OF NOAA STEPPING DOWN

Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the head of NOAA, submitted her letter of resignation, saying she will go back to teaching at the University of Oregon. President Obama appointed her in 2009 when the fish stocks in the northeast had rebounded and she now leaves with the stocks in poor health, fishermen facing drastic catch reductions, and the fishing grounds declared a federal disaster area. Lubchenco implemented the European style of fisheries management called catch shares that decimated the Massachusetts fishing fleet. In addition to her poor fisheries management system, she was responsible for a number of scandals including 38 million dollars of NOAA money that is still unaccounted forcing her boss, the Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, to resign as well. He resigned after being involved in a pair of bizarre car accidents in which he hit the same car twice. Fishermen found it ironic that he claimed he was suffering from a mental disorder.


2) ITALIAN SHIPWRECK COSTA CONCORDIA

Thirty-two people died aboard the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia. The ship’s captain was placed under house arrest at his home near Naples for being negligent of his duties and abandoning ship before all passengers were off the ship. The Captain told investigators that he did not abandon his ship. He claimed he fell overboard into the water as the ship rolled on its side.


1) MORE BOATS DAMAGED BY HURRICANE SANDY THAN ANY OTHER

STORM IN THE U.S.

The boat destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy was the worst ever caused by a storm hitting the United States. More than 68,000 recreational boats had to be saved or salvaged. Claims of loss have come in from Maryland to Maine to as far west as Cleveland and the Great Lakes. Looting and thefts of electronics has added to the losses.

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WATD online and on-air contributors include, but are not limited to: The Associated Press, Precision Weather Forecasting, local news stringers and reporters, in-house news and internet media staff, Statehouse and town hall reporters, freelance reporters, special feature reporters/producers, and on-air radio show personnel.