Nautical News: For the week of February 24, 2013


Whale wars is alive and kicking again, but the fatal blow might have been struck and it isn’t clear who has won. The Japanese whaling hunt might be over, but the Sea Shepherders might have lost their ships. The Japanese factory ship Nishin Maru, the factory ship that slaughters the whales, intentionally rammed two of the Sea Shepherd’s ships, the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker. The Japanese insist they were not at fault as the Sea Shepherd boats got in between their ship and their fueling tanker. The tanker was also involved in the collision. The incident could have been an environmental nightmare if there was an oil spill. The Japanese claim their hunt for whales is legitimate because they are doing it for scientific purposes. The Sea Shepherds claim the Japanese are killing the whales for commercial purposes in violation of an international treaty and that they have no scientific purpose for doing so. Furthermore they claim the oil tanker is banned from entering the pristine Antarctic sanctuary where the whales live.


The Coast Guard assisted five people aboard a sinking fishing boat approximately 100 miles southeast of Nantucket. The captain of the 80 foot fishing boat Megan-Marie reported the boat was taking on water with five people on board. It was further reported that its pumps were not keeping up with the flooding. The source of the flooding was a hole located under the engine block, making it impossible to patch. The Coast Guard sent a helicopter, a turbo prop plane, and two cutters with pumps to the fishing boat’s location. With the extra pumps controlling the flooding, the Coast Guard Cutters Seneca and the Flying Fish escorted the fishing boat and her crew safely back to the boat’s homeport of New Bedford. At the time of the rescue, 10 to 14 foot seas and 25 knot winds were being reported.


The group that tagged the great white sharks off Cape Cod last summer is aboard the OCEARCH vessel looking to tag more great white sharks off the coast of Florida. So far, two of the sharks that were tagged off Cape Cod have been tracked. One of them, named Mary Lee, was heading back north from Florida, but recently changed course and was last located near Bermuda.


An empty Russian cruise ship that disappeared into the fog while being towed to the Caribbean to be scrapped has just been located by a U.S. intelligence agency that does mapping. It was thought the abandoned vessel was lost in the ocean forever after being adrift for almost two months. When the ship was found, it was thousands of miles from its intended destination. Its position was about 1300 miles off the west coast of Ireland in international waters. Based on ocean currents and predominant winds, the Russian ghost ship could make landfall somewhere in Europe. Officials insist the owner of the ship is responsible for its movements.


A 42 foot lobster boat in Maine that broke free from its mooring during the 2013 Blizzard has been found adrift 150 miles from its home port. Jason Hooper, who owns the lobster boat XTreme Measures was delighted with the news. Hooper conducted an extensive search for the boat after it went missing from its mooring off Spruce Head, Maine on February 10th. Wind gusts during the storm reached hurricane force. Fishermen aboard an offshore lobster boat named the Amy Philbrick found the missing lobster boat while fishing on the Georges Bank and is towing it back to its home port.


Out in Seattle, at the Pike Place Fish Market, a new actor has been discovered. His name is Taho Kakutani. For the past 9 years he has worked at the fish market tossing fish. Now he is the star in a TV commercial for Advil. He was selected after answering questions for what he initially thought was a pain study. After honestly answering that he used Advil to relieve pain, he learned it was all part of a casting call by Advil. He still insists that he lists his occupation as a fish monger and not as an actor, but he will soon be appearing in ad campaign for designer jeans that features real life working guys.


And last on today’s nautical news, prominent Silicon Valley investor and the founder of TechCrunch, Mike Arrington, is accusing the Department of Homeland Security of stealing his brand new boat. Arrington explained that he purchased the boat from a Canadian company called Coastal Craft and paid for it with Canadian dollars. As he drove the boat across the border and entered into the United States, he went through customs. However, the paperwork prepared by the agents had an error. The price was copied from the invoice, but they changed the currency from Canadian to U.S. dollars. Arrington wanted the officials to change the paperwork to reflect the price in Canadian dollars or in an adjusted price for U.S. dollars. He suggested that they simply change the currency from US dollars to Canadian dollars so that it would be correct. When they refused, he refused to sign the paperwork, insisting if he did he would be committing perjury. At that point, he was ordered off his boat and a woman with a badge and a gun from the Department of Homeland Security seized it and asked him to leave. He said he is now out to prove how screwed up the American bureaucracy has become over a bunch of lies.

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