Nautical News: For the week of April 21, 2013

VICTIM KILLED IN BOSTON BOMBING WORKED ON HARBOR ISLANDS

One of the victims killed by the bombs at the Boston Marathon was Krystle Campbell, who was a member of the Boston Harbor Islands community. She worked at Jasper White’s Summer Shack food stands on Spectacle and George’s Islands. Karen Rand, also a Summer Shack employee, was also critically injured in the attack and was hospitalized. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families affected.


WELDER GOES MISSING OFF BARGE IN LYNN HARBOR

While police and FBI searched for the Boston Marathon bombers, the Coast Guard and state police searched for a missing 49-year old welder in Lynn Harbor on Boston’s north shore. The welder was reported missing while working on a barge at the Seaport Landing Marina in Lynn. Lynn police and fire departments and State Police divers also assisted the Coast Guard boats and the Coast Guard helicopter. The missing person was described as a 49-year-old five foot six white male weighing 200 pounds, wearing dungaree jeans and a blue hooded sweatshirt. The man remains missing and the search was eventually suspended.


COAST GUARD WARNS ABOUT USING SURGE PROTECTORS ON BOATS

The Coast Guard issued a safety alert about the use of surge protectors aboard a boat. Most surge protective devices are designed for use ashore when the power goes out. While these devices may provide protection to our computers and electronic devices in our homes and offices, these same devices could be a fire risk when used on boats. The Coast Guard has already investigated two fires aboard container ships that they claim were caused by surge protectors. The Coast Guard recommends that all vessel owners and captains be aware of the risks associated with the use of surge protectors aboard their vessels.


CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES TO REIMBURSE GOVERNMENT FOR RESCUES

Remember last week we told you that Carnival Cruise Lines rebutted and rebuffed Senator Jay Rockefeller’s request for them to reimburse the Coast Guard and Navy for all the rescues of their cruise ships. Well, Carnival Cruise officials have changed their minds and will voluntarily repay the U.S. government at least for the costs incurred by the Coast Guard and Navy when they responded to fires aboard the Carnival cruise ship Triumph a couple of months ago as well as when the Carnival Splendor caught fire in 2010. The Coast Guard it cost them $2.3 million to respond to the Carnival Triumph and Carnival Splendor incidents and Navy officials said they incurred another $1.9 million during the Carnival Splendor incident. That adds up to 4.2 million dollars.


RECORD ATTEMPT TO ROW ACROSS THE ATLANTIC ENDS

Two Canadians and two Americans attempting to set a world record for an unassisted, human-powered row across the Atlantic Ocean were rescued after a rogue wave capsized their boat. They had spent weeks battling rough weather and were in their 73rd day at sea when thrown into the water. They were wearing their life jackets and set off a personal locator beacon notifying authorities their position which was about 400 miles north of Puerto Rico. They were attempting to row more than 4,000 miles between Africa and Miami and set a Guinness World Record. Unfortunately, their ocean rowboat had to be left behind, but they survived to try it again.


LION FISH A PROBLEM IN THE ATLANTIC

The lion fish are coming. The lion fish are coming. Actually they are already here and taking over the Atlantic. You see the lionfish belong in the Indian and Pacific oceans, not in the Atlantic. They have Florida officials so worried that all restrictions and quotas are being removed so that people can catch them. Even no recreational saltwater license is required to catch them. According to wildlife officials, lionfish off the southeast United States, Bahamas, and the Caribbean harm indigenous fish like grouper and snapper. They have no natural reef predators. Although lionfish have venomous spines, they are edible, and when properly cleaned, yield a white meat that is considered a delicacy.


FINAL PLAN TO ZONE OCEAN RELEASED BY OBAMA ADMINISTRATION

The Obama Administration just released its final zoning plan for its National Ocean Policy. Obama people said we must improve how commercial and recreational vessels work together, share information, and plan smartly to grow our economy, while keeping our oceans healthy. Our oceans and coasts support tens of millions of jobs and contribute trillions of dollars a year to the national economy through tourism, development, commercial fishing, recreational fishing and boating, energy, shipping, and other activities such as wind farms and fish farms. Competition for increasingly vulnerable ocean space is growing, presenting challenges for the government to follow and enforce ocean related laws.


NEW FEE PROPOSED FOR DOCUMENTED BOATS

And last on today’s nautical news, the squeeze is on. Here comes another new fee. The Coast Guard is proposing to charge an annual fee of $26.00 for renewing certificates of documentation for recreational boats. Currently there is no charge for annual renewal, but the Coast Guard charges a hefty fee to originate new certificates. That fee is about 4 times more than what it costs to register a boat with the state. The advantage of documenting a boat with the federal government is that it makes it easier for the boat to enter a foreign country. Another advantage is that it provides a title that is recognizable around the world. However, there is a big advantage for the government as well. In case of a war, the boat owner has agreed to let the government use the boat during an emergency or an act of war.


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