Nautical News: For the week of July 21, 2013

MONSTER SHARK TOURNAMENT ATTRACTS HUGE CROWDS

The annual Monster Shark Tournament took place this weekend in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. However, because of the large crowds drawn to the event, and recent protests by animal rights groups, voters in the town passed a non-binding measure calling for the end of the tournament in their town after this year. The non-binding measure is pitting residents against merchants and big-game fishermen who travel from as far as Texas. One of the town’s selectmen described the tournament as an uncontrollable frat party with blood and guts dripping from the sharks hanging from their tails. The selectmen added that the town becomes unrecognizable during the tournament with drunks sleeping on sidewalks and broken beer bottles piled under benches putting a big strain on the police and other municipal sources. One idea being pushed in the town is to have only a catch and release tournament. Steven James, the organizer of the tournament, said conservationists’ concerns are misguided. The sharks caught aren’t endangered and only 16 were taken last year. Furthermore, every shark caught is dissected and studied by scientists. Besides, would selectmen want the sharks released into their harbor. Arrangements have been made to hold next year’s shark tournament in Newport, Rhode Island.


POWER BOAT STOLEN FROM MARINA IN HULL

A 41 foot powerboat named Life Is Worth Living was stolen in the wee hours of the morning from Sunset Bay Marina in Hull. The Hull Harbormaster spotted the boat operating at full throttle dangerously close to shore off Nantasket Beach at 7:45 the same morning. The operator beached the boat by the Mary Jeanette Murray bath house on Nantasket Beach. As the harbormaster approached the boat on foot, the boat powered off the beach and headed North towards Boston Light. State Police Marine Division and the Massachusetts Environmental Police were notified and headed to intercept the stolen boat as the Hull Harbormaster gave chase. The boat was stopped. There were 4 persons on board – 3 minors and 1 adult. The adult male was placed under arrest for boat theft and transported to the State Police station in Norwell for booking. The boat was transported back to the marina and hauled for damage to its deck and running gear. This case is still under investigation.


BAN OF LOBSTER TAILS FOR SALE LIFTED IN MASSACHUSETTS

In Massachusetts, restaurants couldn’t buy boxes of frozen American lobster tails caught in New England waters. Instead, the restaurants were forced to buy spiny lobster tails caught in the Gulf of Mexico or South Africa or Australia. That was because Massachusetts law allowed for processing, but not sales of American lobster tails within state lines. The state of Maine had a similar ban on lobster tails, but changed their law last year. This past Friday, Massachusetts law was changed to allow lobster tails to be sold within its state lines. The reason for the previous ban was to protect the sales of live lobsters and to make sure the tails were from legal size lobsters. To be legally sold today, the tails must weigh at least 3 ounces. Massachusetts lobstermen anticipate an increase in demand, which should mean the price per pound paid to the lobstermen will increase.


POST OFFICE ISSUES LIGHTHOUSE STAMPS

The U.S. Postal Service has issued five new stamps commemorating five New England lighthouses. The lighthouses on the stamps are Boston Light in Boston Harbor, Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth Maine; Point Judith Lighthouse in Rhode Island, Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse in New Hampshire, and New London Harbor Light in Connecticut. There was a dedication ceremony held in Boston for the Boston Light forever stamp where it was noted that Boston Light was America’s first lighthouse when it was lit in 1716. The forever stamp will be a collector’s item as we move closer to Boston Light’s 300th anniversary in 2016.


ANOTHER BILL SUBMITTED SEEKING DISASTER FUNDS FOR FISHERMEN

Another bill has been submitted in the U.S. Senate to offer disaster relief to commercial fishermen. One hundred fifty million dollars is being sought for emergency funds to help fishermen in the Northeast, Alaska, and the Gulf of Mexico. Despite sequestration, Senators said the money would come from seafood import duties. The money must be approved by the full Senate before being considered in the House. Last year, the same amount was approved in the Senate, but later denied by the House.


WARM SEA WATER THREATENS TO CLOSE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT

The week long heat wave and the accompanying warm ocean temperatures posed a problem for the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth. Temperatures taken in Cape Cod Bay were above the temperature required for the plant to cool key safety systems. Pilgrim’s license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission requires the water being drawn from the bay to be no warmer than 75 degrees, but for a long period of time, the seawater temperature was above that. The temperature of seawater must be low enough to cool the water circulating around the reactor and transform steam from the system back to liquid water. The higher water temperature of the plant’s discharge water also poses for problems for the ecosystem.


APOLLO 11′s ROCKET ENGINES FOUND ON OCEAN BOTTOM

Forty-four years after it launched the first astronauts to walk on the moon, most of the Apollo 11 rocket’s engine was salvaged from the ocean floor and positively identified. It is expected that it will take another two years to complete the clean up and conservation of the engines. During that time, the public can view the parts and see the work being done to preserve them through a special tour offered at the museum’s SpaceWorks facility at the National Air and Space Museum. Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos underwrote this secret expedition.


GOLD COINS FOUND ON TREASURE COAST BY DIVER

A diver off the coast of Florida found 48 gold coins that are nearly 300 years old. The coins were believed to be aboard 11 Spanish ships that broke apart in 1715. Today they are worth about $200,000. The captain of the dive boat said his expeditions often end with the discovery of beer cans and fishing weights. This time it was different. The location was marked as he thinks there are a lot more gold coins to be found. he said, “This is why they call it the Treasure Coast.”


CAPTAIN OF BOAT WITH MEMBER OF “DESTINY’S CHILD” NEEDS HELP

And last on today’s nautical news, singer Kelly Rowland, who was a member of Destiny’s Child, was on a private boat that had to be escorted back to shore. Sea Tow Provincetown went to the aid of the captain who said he got lost while following a whale watch boat out to Stellwagen Bank. According to the Coast Guard, the captain lost sight of the whale watch boat during a squall and became disoriented about 20 miles north of Provincetown. After being contacted, the Coast Guard directed the Sea Tow captain to escort the private vessel back to Provincetown. The captain obviously did not know how to navigate, but was able to give his GPS position to the Coast Guard. He was lost even though the GPS told him where he was.


About WATD Web Editor

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.