Nautical News: For the week of March 3, 2013


The Town of Hull’s sewer treatment plant failed during last week’s rain storm causing millions of gallons of untreated waste water to be dumped into the ocean. An estimated two million gallons of raw sewerage a day is being pumped over a sea wall that faces Boston Harbor and Boston Light. It is hoped that Nantasket Beach will be unaffected. The town’s manager is hopeful that the sewer treatment plant will be back on line by the end of this weekend. Meanwhile, state biologists are considering a ban on all shellfish operations in the area. Environmentalists also worry about the damage already done to marine life. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection, said it is too early to say whether the town or the plant operator could face penalties.


Either an adventurous couple with two young children aboard a 29 foot sailboat off the coast of California went to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean along with their boat or someone made a hoax call that cost the Coast Guard hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Coast Guard spent two days of searching 20,000 square miles after receiving a call for help from a sailboat named Charm Blow. The Coast Guard is still treating the incident as a rescue, with the distinct possibility that the multiple calls for help came from a trickster. So far the Coast Guard said no family has been reported missing and they cannot find any boat documented or registered with the name Charm Blow. It all began last Sunday afternoon when a man reported on a marine radio that he, his wife, their 4-year-old son and the boy’s cousin were on a 29 foot boat named the Charmblow and were in trouble. The boat’s electronics were failing and the vessel was taking on water. About an hour later, the man radioed again and said, “Coast Guard, Coast Guard, we are abandoning ship. This is Charmblow. We are abandoning ship.” He said all four people aboard were tying a life ring and a cooler together to hang onto in the water. The Coast Guard said that the call was very convincing. Because the man gave no GPS position, the Coast Guard used a radio direction finder and determined the call really came from 65 miles offshore. At the time, there were strong winds, cold water, and big waves which made for perilous conditions.


Here is a story about an accident at sea, off the coast of Florida, but it happened so fast, no call for help was made. A 50-foot Hatteras boat was found demolished offshore by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission research plane. Alongside of the boat was a body in the water. The boat was believed to have been in a collision with a freighter after its flying bridge and parts of its deck were found in a debris field. No foul play is suspected. The Coast Guard determined the owner of the boat had just bought the boat in South Carolina and was taking it south with friends. An unidentified licensed captain was driving the boat. The Coast Guard searched the area for 50 hours, but no other bodies were found. The Coast Guard is now checking all ship traffic that was in the sea lanes near where the wreckage and the one body were found.


More fishermen are going without insurance coverage on their boats because of rising fuel prices and the financial burden placed on them by the government’s fishing regulations. Angela Sanfilippo, executive director of the Massachusetts Fishermen’s Partnership, which consists of 21 groups in the state, said fishermen simply can no longer afford to buy insurance for their boats. Furthermore, she said that it can take years before the insurance companies pay a claim. Fishermen go out business before they get their insurance check.


Last spring, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer announced his intention to build Titanic II, a near exact replica of the RMS Titanic. This past week, Palmer unveiled the design of his Titanic II and he will build it in China for his company called Blue Star Line. The original Titanic was built and operated by the White Star Cruise Lines. The big difference between Titanic II and the original Titanic is that Titanic II will carry more lifeboats and it will be air conditioned. Palmer said the Titanic II’s maiden voyage will be the exact same route that the RMS Titanic took in 1912 – Southampton, England to New York. The six day maiden voyage is scheduled for late 2016. Just as in 1912, there will be three classes of passengers, and those with different tickets will not be allowed to move among the classes.


An unclaimed dinghy, found by the Marshfield harbormaster years ago, was donated to the Marshfield High School’s boat building program. The students recently restored it, and now, the North River Arts Society will raffle off the boat along with other Marshfield students’ art work at the upcoming Marshfield Student Art Showcase at the G.A.R. Hall on Old Main Street, in Marshfield. All of the art, including the boat, will be on display for the public March 10th to 17th.


And last on today’s nautical news, a 23 year old New Jersey fisherman caught a real “sea monster” in the Raritan River. Pictures of the eel like creature were posted on YouTube and it has gotten more than a million views. The creature has a large round mouth with rows of teeth. Its body is lined with holes that resemble gills. Marine biologists say it is a very large sea lamprey that can swallow a person’s arm. It gives anyone who looks at it very bad dreams.

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About John Shea