Nautical News: For the week of July 9, 2017



Chatham Harbormaster Stuart Smith said the minke whale seen swimming in Stage Harbor and Oyster Pod River was found dead early Friday. Volunteers from the International Fund for Animal Welfare were unsuccessful in trying to get the whale into deeper water in Nantucket Sound. The harbormaster towed the dead whale, which was about 20 feet long, to the local boat ramp where it was lifted onto a trailer. A necropsy was performed to try to determine the cause of death. Minke whales are considered the smallest baleen whale, but can grow to 32 feet long.




Earlier this week, three men were rescued by the Marshfield harbormaster when their boat took on water. Harbormaster Michael DiMeo got a distress call that a 23-foot boat with three men aboard was sinking about a mile and a half offshore. When DiMeo and assistant harbormaster Buck Hayes arrived on scene, they found the occupants bailing water with a bucket. The harbormaster quickly attached dock lines to the sinking boat and tied them to the harbormaster’s boat to prevent it from sinking. The Coast Guard also responded to provide assistance with the gas-powered pumps. Once all the water was pumped, Harbormaster DiMeo towed it back to Green Harbor Marina. No one was injured and the boat’s owner was happy that he had only lost a cooler. He said, “We want to thank them. They are real lifesavers. We were out there for only about 25 minutes diving, and when we surfaced, water was pouring over the transom into the boat.




The Coast Guard suspended its search for a 55 year old fisherman who went overboard from a New Bedford fishing boat off Montauk, New York. Ten fishing boats and the Coast Guard searched for 18 hours and covered more than 4,000 square miles for the missing fisherman who fell off the fishing vessel Miss Shauna. Crew aboard the boat reported that the man was not wearing a life jacket.




Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s appointed the head of a gun rights group to lead the state’s Department of Fish & Game. Baker picked Ronald Amidon, the president of the Gun Owners’ Action League of Massachusetts, to be commissioner of the wildlife agency this past Wednesday even though the Gun Owners’ Action League is suing Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey over a copycat assault weapons ban. Amidon said he will now step down from his post as president of the Gun Owners Action League.




U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced Massachusetts will receive $1,032,000 from three different grant programs, the Boating Infrastructure Grant, the Clean Vessel Act, and the Maritime Heritage Grant. The state’s Division of Marine Fisheries will receive the bulk of the money from the Clean Vessel Act. They will install one new pumpout station, replace an existing pumpout station, replace a pumpout boat, and replace one pumpout boat’s engine. They also plan to provide operation and maintenance funding for 78 stations, 65 pumpout boats, 11 carts, and 11 tight tanks. The money from the other two grant programs will be used to support boat tie-up facilities at yet to be determined boat ramps.




For years we have been touting the health benefits of eating locally caught wild fish. Finally, the American public is realizing that the methods used by the government to manage the fish stocks doesn’t jive with what public health officials have been telling us. Instead, availability and access to healthy seafood is being restricted and over regulated to the point where it is affecting our health and the cost of health insurance. The Magnuson-Stevens Act, which is the main fisheries management law in the United States, requires fisheries to be managed to produce the greatest benefits to the nation in terms of food production and economics. It is time we insist that NOAA Fisheries take public health into account when managing our fish stocks.




When the Coast Guard found Lewis Bennett on a life raft between Florida and the Bahamas, he told rescuers that he and his wife were on their honeymoon. About three hours earlier, he said he was asleep inside the cabin of his catamaran when he was jolted awake after the boat hit something. When he went up top, his bride was gone. He looked all around for his wife, but couldn’t find her and their 37 foot catamaran was sinking. He activated his emergency position radio signal and abandoned ship into the life raft. When the Coast Guard arrived on scene, they found the catamaran submerged and capsized. As they searched for the missing woman, the catamaran sank. After seven days, the Coast Guard finally stopped searching for the missing woman, but the investigation continues on what exactly happened. He claimed they had planned a great life together and that he loved her very much. The FBI is now involved after the woman’s family and friends believe foul play was involved, but the newly wed groom claimed he is absolutely devastated about the loss of his soulmate.




And last on today’s nautical news, remember the story about a woman going through security at Logan Airport last month carrying a live 20+ pound lobster in a cooler. The lobster was screened and cleared “to continue on its way” according to the TSA, but not before TSA officers snapped a quick picture of the agent holding the lobster by its claws. Now, the owner of the lobster is suing the TSA claiming her privacy was violated. She said she gave no one permission to take pictures of her personal property and post them on Facebook. The seafood store that packed the lobster in the cooler agreed, asking when is it okay to go through someone’s checked baggage and take pictures? The store owner said other lobsters were packed on top of the big lobster and they all had to be dumped on the counter for the TSA to take the big one out of the cooler. The TSA has since released a statement claiming they were reaching out to the passenger to discuss her concerns, but admitted they share images through social media to provide helpful travel tips to better inform the public. So in the end, thanks to the TSA, everyone was red in the face including the lobster.

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