Nautical News: For the week of June 30, 2013

BOATERS FACE NEW RESTRICTIONS ON 4TH OF JULY IN BOSTON

There are new restrictions in place for boating on the Charles River for the 4th of July concert and fireworks. The following boating restrictions go into effect on July 2nd. Boaters must stay 100 feet from shore and must stay 1,000 feet from the fireworks barges. No dinghies, PWC, kayaks, canoes, or any other small vessel will be allowed to deploy from anchored vessels or permitted access to shore. Violation of this security zone will result in arrest. The Craigie Bridge by the Museum of Science will not be open until midnight, after the fireworks. Only vessels requiring less than 12 feet vertical clearance will be allowed to proceed under the closed bridge and transit east of the Longfellow Bridge. No docks on the Boston side will be accessible to the public between the Mass Ave and Longfellow Bridges. Vessels over 13 feet tall may not anchor between the fireworks barges and the Mass Avenue Bridge. The lagoon area on the Boston side of the river will be closed to all boat traffic from July 2nd to July 5th. No boats or dinghies will be allowed to enter into, transit through, or anchor in the lagoon area during this time period. No restrooms and/or trash receptacles will be available to individuals on the water.


BILLS FILED TO ELIMINATE MASSACHUSETTS SALES TAX ON BOATS

In other nautical news, three bills have been filed to repeal the sales tax on boats built or repaired in Massachusetts, one by Representative James Cantwell of Marshfield, one by Senator Robert Hedlund of Weymouth, and another by Representative Daniel Winslow of Norfolk. Jamy Madeja, the legal counsel and government relations representative for the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, testified before the Committee on Revenue in favor of the legislation stating that repealing the sales tax on boats built or repaired in Massachusetts would lead to more jobs and additional revenue for the state. She described the legislation as a jobs bill and not a tax break for boaters. She also pointed that many boat sales and repair jobs leave Massachusetts and go to neighboring states New Hampshire and Rhode Island where there are no sales taxes.


HEAD OF MASSPORT WANTS TO DREDGE BOSTON HARBOR

The head of the Massachusetts Port Authority is proposing a four-year, $300 million plan to dredge Boston Harbor, but the city’s lobstermen want nothing to do with it if the dredging would prevent them from working or kill vulnerable lobsters. Bill Adler of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association located in Scituate said, “You can’t just come charging in with your dredgers and say, ‘Hey, you guys, get out of the way, while we’re trying to make a living.” However, Massport officials said the Boston Harbor’s channels must be made deeper to accommodate bigger cargo ships that transit the Panama Canal in order to stay competitive with New York and New Jersey. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, as much as $200 million of the project would be paid through federal dollars and require an act of Congress, while the rest would be paid by Massport.


TSUNAMI LIKE CONDITIONS HIT EAST COAST

A report from NOAA said tsunami like conditions were observed on June 13th at more than 30 tide gauges along the East Coast, from New England to Bermuda. The biggest wave and strongest current was recorded in Newport, R.I. Fishermen reported the wave washed back and forth over the jetties. NOAA scientists are looking for the cause. One possibility is the low pressure caused it or it could have been caused by a landslide off the continental shelf.


7 SAILORS MISSING AFTER HISTORIC SCHOONER SINKS

A classic American wooden schooner, 85 years old, carrying six people from the United States and one person from Great Britain, is believed to have sunk somewhere between New Zealand and Australia. Rescuers have searched for three days hoping to find survivors in a liferaft. The schooner, named Nina, departed from Mystic, Connecticut a couple of years ago and crossed the Atlantic. It left New Zealand on May 29th headed for Australia. The last known contact with the crew was on June 4th. Rescuers were alerted the boat was missing on June 14, but weren’t concerned because no emergency signal was received from the boat’s EPIRB, which would transmit when submerged. Three of the six Americans on board were identified as Captain David Dyche, his wife Rosemary and their 17 year old son David. On the day the boat went missing, a storm hit the area producing winds gusting up to near hurricane force and 26 foot waves.


OLDEST COMMERCIAL WHALING SHIP REBUILT IN MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT

And speaking of Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, after a multimillion-dollar restoration lasting nearly five years rebuilding the hull of the historic whaleship Charles W. Morgan, it is now scheduled to splash in the water on July 21st. The whaleship is America’s oldest surviving wooden commercial whaling vessel, of which at one time there were 2700 such ships. The 113-foot vessel was built and launched in New Bedford in 1841 and had a whaling career that lasted 80 years and 37 voyages that spanned the far reaches of the globe. The ship came to Mystic Seaport in 1941 and more than 20 million people have walked her decks since she arrived. Once the boat is in the water, workers will complete the restoration and finish installing the ship’s rigging and equipment. It is then expected to sail to Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, New Bedford and Boston. She also will also participate in the centennial celebration of the Cape Cod Canal scheduled for July next year.


ORGANIZATION RAISING MONEY FOR NEW COAST GUARD MUSEUM

The National Coast Guard Museum Association announced that it has just raised $100,000 to build a Coast Guard museum, and hopes to raise a million dollars by Labor Day from a group of donors called the “Barque Eagle Society.” The society is named for the Coast Guard’s sail training ship that is based at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Planners say they will build the museum in downtown New London and have the Eagle docked nearby as an added attraction. The museum’s cost is expected to be $80 to $100 million, with $20 million coming from the state.


FISHERMEN AND BOATERS ATTRACT LIGHTNING

And last on today’s nautical news, NOAA’s National Weather Service claims that 64% of all deaths caused by lightning during the past 7 years happened to people who were doing an outdoor leisure activity. Of the 152 deaths associated with leisure activities, fishing was number one followed by camping, boating, playing soccer or golf. Other activities on the list included swimming, jogging, and picnicking. It is believed that the large number of lightning deaths associated with fishing, camping, and boating were because of the extra time these folks needed to get to a safe place.

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