Nautical News: For the week of August 4, 2013

AUCTION OF GRAVES LIGHTHOUSE IN BOSTON

The federal government is auctioning off the Graves Island lighthouse in Boston Harbor. The lighthouse was built in 1903 and is a 113-feet-high, five-story, granite-block cylindrical tower. The property includes the approximately 10 acres of ledge known as Graves Island, the lighthouse, the attached dock, and the oil house. The auction began in June and has thus far attracted five bidders. The property will go to the highest qualified bidder on August 6th. The current high bid is $111,000. The lighthouse is supposedly named after Vice Admiral Thomas Graves, the man who laid out Charlestown in Boston, but many boaters think it was named after all the shipwrecks that hit the rocks and sent the sailors to their watery graves. Ironically, the rocks on the property stand generally upright, like gravestones in a cemetery.


DRUNK BOATER ARRESTED IN HINGHAM HARBOR

The Hingham harbormaster received a call of a boat being operated erratically while racing with another boat, and after locating the boats, arrested one of the operators. He was charged with driving under the influence, and admitted that he was drinking. Beer cans and bottles were visible in the cup holders and deck of the boat. The operator’s eyes were also glassy and bloodshot, his speech slurred, and he was unsteady on his feet. The four passengers on the boat were released without being charged. The boat was described as a 21 foot Boston Whaler with a New York registration.


SCITUATE HOSTS TRAINING OF HARBORMASTERS

And speaking of harbormasters, the Scituate Harbormaster’s department hosted personnel from several other south shore harbormaster departments for a day of extensive training on the water. The towns of Marshfield, Hull, Braintree, and the City of Quincy’s Marine Unit, along with members of the Coast Guard Station in Scituate, were among those who took part in the training activities held earlier this week. Scituate Harbormaster Mark Patterson said he and his assistants felt Scituate was a good place to hold the training event because the town is centrally located, and a summer Coast Guard station is located there. One of the training drills focused on pulling a person out of the water. It was also pointed out that personnel from the south shore harbormasters’ departments meet once a month to discuss policies, procedures, and other issues related to the harbormasters’ departments.


THREE UNRELATED RESCUES OF PEOPLE IN THE WATER IN ONE HOUR

Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England responded to three, unrelated person in the water cases within approximately one hour the is past Friday evening. At 5:32 p.m. crew members on board the Coast Guard Cutter Tybee witnessed a woman overturn her 10-foot sailboat in Woods Hole and rescued her. Then the captain of a 45 foot fishing boat radioed that one of his crew members fell overboard approximately two miles off Provincetown. He too was safely rescued. And about an hour later, the Coast Guard received a phone call from the Chilmark police dispatcher on Martha’s Vineyard about two snorkelers in the water in distress. In this case, the Environmental Police were first on scene and performed the rescue. A Coast Guard official said that these cases are great examples of the Coast Guard’s ability to respond quickly and work with partner agencies to achieve positive results.


MORE OYSTERS STOLEN IN CAPE COD

An oyster farm in Barnstable’s Marstons Mills River has become the latest area to be hit by poachers. About 3,000 oysters in plastic mesh cases were stolen this past week. This summer, repeated thefts of oysters valued around $40,000 occurred in the Town of Dennis. State Environmental Police and local officials claim they have placed all Cape Cod shellfish beds under close scrutiny.


BUILDING ON BOSTON HARBOR ISLAND NAMED AFTER BOMBING VICTIM

Krystie Campbell, one of the victims in the Boston Marathon bombing, will be remembered by having the gazebo on Spectacle Island in Boston harbor named after her. Krystie spent the past summer working at Jasper White’s Summer Shack restaurant on the island, and all of her co-workers said that Krystie loved working and spending time on the island. Members of the Boston Parks and Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the honor. Also supporting the idea were officials from the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, the Boston Harbor Island Alliance, and the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation.


PARENTS OF CRASH VICTIM IN NEW YORK CLAIM EVERYONE SOBER

The parents of a bride to be killed in a boating accident last week on the Hudson River claimed that poor lighting on a stationary barge was responsible for the crash and alcohol had nothing to do with it. The parents said police rushed to judgment in alleging the driver of the boat was operating under the influence of alcohol when everyone on board was sober. The driver suffered serious injuries as well, and is still in the hospital where doctors said toxicology results showing the level of alcohol in the blood will not be available for another couple of days. The stationary barge was part of a construction project to build a new Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson. Eyewitnesses said the barge was very difficult to see at night, but the Coast Guard said its two lights at each end of the barge satisfied federal requirements. However, after the accident, dozens of lights were added to the barge.


PIRATE SHIP DISCOVERED IN 4 FEET OF WATER

A Cape Coral, Florida man believes he found a sunken pirate ship 150 years old that is lying in only four feet of water covered by mangroves. Although there’s no pirate’s gold on board, the ship has significant historic value and could become a major tourist attraction. White poles now surround it, to protect it from boats. The man who found the wreck thinks it is a 150 year old British Civil War era pirate ship that captured by another pirate ship.


ATLANTIC SALMON RAISED IN THE PACIFIC

A Chinese fish farm claims to have the world’s largest Atlantic salmon farm. They are now harvesting about 10 tons of salmon a month. Their intent is to market their fish in China and no longer import frozen salmon from Norway and Iceland. However, consumers outside of China worry that the company’s marketing plan will change and they export the farmed salmon instead of keeping it in China.


HUSBAND’S ASHES IN BOTTLE FOUND MULTIPLE TIMES

And last on today’s nautical news, Beverly Smith of Tennessee lost her husband in March of 2012. He was 57 years old. Since he loved to travel, Beverly put some of her husband’s ashes in a plastic bottle with two one dollar bills along with a note and dropped the bottle in the ocean off the Florida Keys where her husband loved to fish. She said the money was to serve two purposes. One was to attract people’s attention, and the other for them to use it to call her. The note said that Gordon Scott “Skinny” Smith loved to travel, and to please call her so she could follow his journey through the sea. Well, believe it or not, the ashes have been found and released several times, with each of the finders calling the widow and adding their own handwritten note in the bottle. The first time it was found 50 miles away from where she dropped the bottle. The second time it was found, the bottle was cut open, but when the finder realized what it was, saved the contents, added a third dollar bill, and put it all in an empty rum bottle to add a little spirit. This past week, the bottle was discovered in the small town of Key Colony Beach, Florida. The woman who found it called the wife in Tennessee, who was so excited to know of Gordon’s travels! She said hearing about her husband’s travels helps her cope with his death.

About WATD Web Editor