Nautical News: For the week of May 6, 2018

FATAL BOATING ACCIDENT

 

Two women were killed Saturday night after the 24 foot Boston Whaler they were riding in crashed into a buoy on the Piscataqua River. The New Hampshire State Police Marine Patrol said there were four people were aboard the boat. One woman wearing a life jacket was thrown overboard and recovered unconscious. She and another female passenger who suffered severe injuries aboard the boat were pronounced dead at the hospital. A third passenger, a male, was taken to a Boston hospital in serious condition. The fourth person, the 59-year-old man driving the boat, was taken to the hospital suffering a back injury and other bruising. Police said it appears that driver inattention and speed were probably factors in the crash, but the accident remains under investigation. Anyone with information related to the accident is asked to contact New Hampshire State Police–Marine Patrol Sgt. Joshua Dirth at 603-227-2115 or by email at Joshua.Dirth@dos.nh.gov.

VOLVO OCEAN RACERS CLOSE TO NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

Bouwe Bekking’s Dutch flagged Team Brunel continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in Leg 8, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island. They and the rest of the fleet will be arriving in Newport tomorrow night and Rhode Island is ready. The Race Village at Fort Adams is finishing up and the public is invited to the party to welcome the boats.

 

WOODS HOLE FERRY BOAT BREAKS DOWN AGAIN

 

The Coast Guard tweeted that the Woods Hole ferry lost power yesterday afternoon on its way to Vineyard Haven with about 200 people aboard. The Coast Guard tweeted that the crew aboard the ferry was able to get the vessel running and returned to the dock in Woods Hole under its own power. The cause of the power loss is being investigated. Back in March, a similar incident happened when a ferry with about 80 people aboard lost power to its main engines while enroute to Woods Hole from Martha’s Vineyard.

 

6 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FOR NEW HINGHAM BOAT DOCK

 

The federal government has awarded a six million dollar grant to build a new commuter boat dock at the former Hingham Shipyard. This past winter, you might recall that severe weather and ice caused the Hingham commuter boat service to be suspended for two weeks after the dock and pilings broke. A temporary extension was added to the broken dock for the service to continue.

GAVE SITES EXPOSED ON GALLOPS ISLAND IN BOSTON HARBOR

Gallops Island in Boston Harbor has been closed to the public for nearly 20 years because of asbestos left behind by the government. A clean up project has been in the works, but now a new problem has literally surfaced. Workers have discovered exposed remains of small pox victims who were buried on the island in the late 1800s. In some cases bones were seen in deteriorated coffins. Since the island is a part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park, the federal government is providing $525,000 to identify the exposed remains and re-bury them at the Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park. Since the island was the city’s quarantine station and a site that was a place of exile for tens of thousands suffering from communicable disease, many of the small pox victims buried there had just arrived in Boston by ship, so it might be impossible to find their relatives. However, some of the small pox victims buried there were veterans who served in the Civil War. During World War I, the island was the site of a health experiment that went tragically wrong. Navy sailors who volunteered were used to study the spread of the deadly Spanish flu, but the doctor conducting the experiment died from the disease. Some people believe diseases like small pox can survive even after their victim has been dead for a hundred years, but the Federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention assures them that it cannot. Even so, all the equipment used in the project — machinery, clothes, mats, screens, hand tools, personal protective gear, and trailers — will be decontaminated on the island. It is expected that the clean-up will be completed by the end of autumn. By the way, the island is named after one of its owners, John Gallop, who was one of the first Boston Harbor pilots.

 

JUDGE ORDERS NATAHAN CARMAN TO ANSWER QUESTIONS

 

The Boston Herald is reporting that Nathan Carman, who is suspected of being involved with the killing of his wealthy grandfather as well as his mother’s disappearance in the ocean, was ordered by a New Hampshire judge to answer questions about the holes he drilled in his fishing boat prior to taking his mother on an overnight fishing trip. Lawyers for his aunts, who are trying to bar him from inheriting the millions of dollars in his grandfather’s estate, want the answers, but until now, Carman, who is representing himself in court, claimed the questions were “unduly burdensome.” The judge ruled against Carman and also ordered him to provide cellphone and credit card records that are in his name, any documents he created about his grandfather’s murder or his mother’s disappearance, and answer questions about the safety equipment on the boat.

 

MORE STUDIES REQUESTED FOR OCEAN WIND FARMS

 

The New Bedford Port Authority, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and NOAA all filed written public comments regarding Vineyard Wind’s Environment Impact Statement. The deadline to file public comments was April 30. All three agencies cited concerns regarding offshore wind farms in an important region for commercial fishing. Each agency called for more research on how the wind turbines would affect navigation and marine life including the hearing of North Atlantic right whales and other sea mammals. In addition to the Vineyard Wind proposal are two other developers – Bay State Wind and Deepwater Wind.

 

MAYORS TO SPEAK AT NEW ENGLAND AQUARIUM

 

On May 24th, from 5:30 to 7PM, Boston Harbor Now and the New England Aquarium will host a meeting at the Simons IMAX Theater. They are calling the meeting “Boston Harbor for All.” Mayors from Boston, Salem, and Lynn will host a panel to discuss their harbor’s role in the regional economy, climate resilience, public access, water transportation, and more. Although it is free and open to the public, attendees must register to obtain tickets. Go to BostonHarborNow.org to register.

 

ETHANOL FARMERS AVOID USING ETHANOL

 

Even in Iowa, the state where ethanol is king is not popular with consumers. A report from the Iowa Department of Revenue showed that more ethanol-free gas was sold than the ethanol gas made by farmers. Iowans purchased more than 200 million gallons of Ethanol free fuel according to the report. Officials at Boat/US said citizens of the number one ethanol producing state in the nation chose ethanol free fuel for their own personal vehicles and farm equipment proving the need to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard. The people in Iowa know what ethanol can do to their vehicles, power equipment and boats.

 

BILL FILED TO BAN DRIFT NET FISHING

 

Three U.S. Senators have filed a bill last week that would phase out large mesh driftnets within two years. The bill was sponsored by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris and West Virginian Senator Shelley Moore Capito. Their bill comes on the heels of another bill that would buy back driftnet permits. Feinstein said driftnets often ensnare other marine wildlife, such as dolphins, sharks, turtles and many other endangered marine species. Conservation groups hailed the bill and encouraged its passage. Last year, the environmental group Oceana sued the federal government after the National Marine Fisheries Service announced it would not move forward with a driftnet plan. According to NOAA, there is a by catch quota that is monitored by observers.

 

COAST GUARD TALL SHIP EAGLE OPEN TO PUBLIC

 

And last on today’s nautical news, this Tuesday, America’s tall ship, the Coast Guard’s Eagle, will be open to the public when it docks at Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island. The Eagle’s visit coincides with the arrival of the Around the World Ocean Race’s Opening Ceremony. At 295-feet in length, the Eagle is the largest tall ship in United States government service. It is a three-masted barque with more than 22,300 square feet of sail and six miles of rigging.


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