Nautical News: For the week of December 24, 2017



Massachusetts State Police divers recovered the bodies of the two crew members who were working on the New Bedford surf clam boat Misty Blue. Michael Roberts, 44, and Jonathan Saraiva, 32, were lost when they went down with the boat about 10 miles off Nantucket. Their bodies were found two weeks later inside the sunken boat. The two who survived, Misty Blue’s captain Eric Arabian and Colby McMullen, were wearing their survival suits when rescued by F/V Enterprise which was working nearby. The two crew members who were lost were said to be still putting their suits on when the boat went down. The deaths of the crew have left fishing communities devastated. Officials are now investigating why the Misty Blue sank.




Marshfield Harbormaster Mike DiMeo’s number one goal since he was appointed to his position over 10 year ago was to build a new maritime center. This Christmas he is getting his wish. This past week a ceremony was held as he stood beside Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito to break ground for the center. Construction is already underway and the 2.13 million dollar complex could be open by the end of next summer. Almost all of the project is being paid for by grants from the state Seaport Economic Council. Lt. Governor Polito said that Marshfield’s active commercial fishing fleet makes the town worth investing in. The first floor of the building will include public restrooms, showers, a conference room, and boat storage for the harbormaster. Upstairs will be the harbormaster’s office with a kitchen and lockers for the staff.




In a legal document filed in US District Court by lawyers for the insurance company that insured Nathan Carman’s boat accused him of making alterations to his boat “with the intention” of sinking it when his mother was on board. They claimed he enlarged holes in the transom of the boat near the waterline hours before departing. The boat sank when he and his mother, Linda Carman, went on a fishing trip more than 100 miles offshore. Nathan was found on a life raft a week later by the crew of a freighter about 115 miles off Martha’s Vineyard. His mother was never found. The boat’s insurer, National Liability & Fire Insurance Co. is requesting the judge declare the insurance claim on the boat invalid. Nathan adamantly denied the allegations and was not charged with committing a crime. Another lawsuit pending that involves Nathan is the collection of his mother’s multi million dollar estate.




A Warwick, Rhode Island man who lives aboard his boat year round at the Warwick Cove Marina, saved his elderly neighbor who fell off the dock into the bitterly cold water. The rescuer said he heard cries for help coming from the water and knew that he was the only one there to help. He quickly jumped into the water and pulled the man who was struggling in the water to safety while his wife called 911. Fire officials said there was no doubt that he saved the man’s life. He was taken to the hospital and treated for severe hypothermia. This time of the year, the docks are very icy and slippery. Boaters are warned not to walk the docks alone.




A trade deal between Canada and the European Union could amount to a lump of coal for the U.S. seafood exporters. Canada and the European Union brokered a deal that eliminates tariffs on Canadian lobster exports to the 28 nations in Europe. That puts Canadian lobster industry at a big economic advantage over the U.S. lobster exporters which are mostly based in New England. The EU is the biggest importer of seafood in the world, importing nearly $300 million in American and Canadian lobster last year. Now they will save the previous 11% tariff on the Canadian lobsters. Already fewer U.S. lobsters are being shipped to France, Spain and Italy, but lobster exports to Asia have exploded. China imported less than $800,000 in U.S. lobsters in 2006 and took in more than $108 million last year. America’s lobster fleet, based mostly in Maine and Massachusetts caught a record of 158.5 million pounds of lobster in 2016. Some suspect a lower figure in 2017, but statistics won’t be compiled until early next year.




Brunswick Corp. has had a “robust” response from potential buyers of its Sea Ray brand, which the company recently announced was for sale. Officials at Brunswick said the decision to sell Sea Ray had nothing to do with any short term weakness of sales. In fact they claimed there was strong consumer interest in the brand at the Fort Lauderdale boat show with a backlog in production going into next year. It will be at least three months before it will be made public who the new owner will be.




The crew aboard a Key West Coast Guard cutter found a giant leatherback sea turtle entangled in a rope attached to 26 packages filled with cocaine. While on patrol, the crew noticed a large debris field and discovered the turtle stuck among the nearly a ton of cocaine worth an estimated 53 million dollars. The crew carefully cut the ropes to free the turtle and it did swim away, but it was obvious that it suffered from chafing around its neck and flippers. It was thought that the smugglers intentionally dropped the cocaine overboard before they got caught and that the poor turtle swam right into the pile and became entangled.




In a study called “fish and ships” NOAA scientists recorded the sounds made by Atlantic cod and haddock at spawning sites and found that ship traffic noise reduced the distance over which these animals communicated with each other. As a result, daily behavior, feeding, mating, and socializing during critical biological periods was believed to be altered. Two sites inside the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary were monitored for three months by researchers at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center laboratory in Woods Hole and at the sanctuary’s building in Scituate. The sod grunts and haddock knocks, were recorded hourly by bottom-mounted instruments during spawning seasons and apparently the fish made the most noise right in the Boston shipping lanes.

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