Nautical News: For the week of October 20, 2013

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TWO SAILORS SPEND NIGHT ON TOP OF CAPSIZED BOAT

Two men were rescued in Salem Harbor after spending more than 12 hours adrift, sitting on top of their overturned 25 foot trimaran sailboat. Salem’s Assistant Harbormaster said the crew of the boat “Fishy Business” out of Beverly came across the two after sunrise and contacted officials. The two victims were taken to shore and transported to the hospital where they were treated for hypothermia and released in good condition. The men said a gust of wind capsized their boat. Small craft warnings were issued before they went out. Overnight, the water temperature was in the high 50s and the air temperature was in the low 50s.

 

BOAT FIRE ON SAKONNET RIVER

Coast Guard rescue crews from Station Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island responded to a cell phone call from a boater who said his 38 foot boat was on fire on the Sakonnet River and that he was abandoning ship into his 8 foot dinghy. A passing boater saw the fire and picked him up and brought him to the Coast Guard boat. The man confirmed he was the only one onboard and that he was not injured. Although multiple fire boats responded, the vessel sunk. The Coast Guard is investigating the incident.

 

COAST GUARD SEARCHING FOR OWNER OF PADDLE BOAT FOUND ADRIFT

The Coast Guard is searching for the owner of a paddle boat that they found capsized off the coast of New Hampshire. They are not sure if the boat was occupied when it tipped over, but until they locate the boat’s owner, they felt they had to search. Boats from local police departments also assisted the Coast Guard boat and helicopter that came from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod. The boat is described as a blue 8 foot long paddle boat manufactured by Pelican. It had the name “Rainbow” printed on its side. If anyone is familiar with this boat, they are urged to contact the Coast Guard.

 

PASSENGER AIRLIFTED FROM QUEEN MARY II CRUISE SHIP

The Coast Guard received a call for help from the Captain of the Queen Mary II cruise ship. The captain reported a 67 year old passenger suffered from severe bleeding. The ship was located about 40 miles off Nantucket. A Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene, hoisted the bleeding man off the ship, and transported him to Cape Cod hospital. While enroute, the helicopter crew communicated with the Coast Guard’s fleet surgeon. No further information about the passenger’s condition was released.

 

BOAT WITH 30 PEOPLE ON BOARD CAPSIZES IN BISCAYNE BAY

A group of 30 people hired a privately owned 45-foot boat to shuttle them across Biscayne Bay. The boat started taking on water and rolled over, tossing all 30 people into the water. Miraculously, the Coast Guard, assisted by other boaters, rescued everyone within minutes and no one was hurt. A dog that was on the boat was also saved. It wasn’t immediately known why the boat started taking on water, but overloading is suspected. It also was believed that the operator of the boat was not a licensed Coast Guard captain and that he violated the law taking passengers for hire.

 

EXPIRED MARINERS CREDENTIALS EXTENDED DURING SHUTDOWN

The Coast Guard said mariners whose credentials expire between October 1 and November 30th will receive an extension until December 31st because of the government shutdown. Coast Guard officials said the shutdown prevented them from processing mariners’ credentials such as captains’ licenses before the licenses expired. They also said that the shutdown put them further behind in issuing boat documentation certificates. Affected mariners are asked to visit the National Maritime Center’s website to print the letter that grants the extension. Mariners are instructed to retain the letter with their credentials and have it available for the Coast Guard or other officials who may ask to examine them.

 

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO AMEND JONES ACT

Amongst all the crazy ideas floated around Washington these days is the current administration’s proposal to modify the Jones Act to allow foreign flagged vessels to transport cargo and/or passengers between U.S. ports. President Obama has issued more Jones Act waivers than the previous five Presidents who preceded him. The Jones Act, which is officially known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, allows only U.S. flagged ships to go from one U.S. port to another. Reasons for this were for national defense and economic benefits. Foreign flagged vessels are prohibited from competing with U.S. flagged vessels. Known as cabotage, a sovereign nation controls the transport of goods or passengers between two points within its borders. The Jones Act further provides that U.S. flagged vessels must be owned by U.S. citizens or U.S. Corporations, 75% of its crew must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents, and the vessel must be built in the U.S. Those opposed to modifying the Jones Act claim that cheaply built, non-inspected, and possibly unsafe vessels from foreign nations would kill the U.S. shipping industry, putting U.S. licensed mariners out of work. U.S. shipyards and their labor forces, repair facilities, marine engine manufacturers, and repairers would go away for good. And last but not least, our national security would be compromised as foreign vessels traveling our coasts would be invading our ports.

 

CARBON FIBER AMERICA’S CUP BOAT RECYCLED

In a first of its kind effort, the carbon fiber hull and mast of a former America’s Cup sailboat will be recycled. Boeing and Oracle Team USA are working together on the project. The sailboat’s hull will be cut into 4 foot sections before being processed. Officials from Boeing and Oracle Team USA have not disclosed how or what they will use the boat’s carbon fiber, but it very well be used to make interior parts for Boeing’s airplanes.

 

MONSTER FISH WASHES UP ON BEACH

And last on today’s nautical news, although it is the Halloween season, the following story is not a hoax. For centuries sailors have told stories of seeing giant marine creatures like oarfish and basking sharks. They told stories of mermaids. Perhaps the best-known monster of the deep was the 65 foot long giant squid also known as kraken. Closer to home, people still talk about a sea serpent that washed up on a Scituate beach in 1970. But this past week, a photo of 25 people on a southern California beach, holding an 18 foot long serpentlike monster fish, spread around the Internet. Scientists said the creature was a rarely seen oarfish that lives deep in the ocean, in tropical waters. Although the creature was dead, everyone holding it, was clearly excited.

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