Nautical News: For the week of June 24, 2018



Reliable sources have told “Nautical Talk Radio” that the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation will employ four USCG licensed boat captains throughout the year and another three seasonally to maintain and operate a fleet of eight motor vessels that will be used to service the 100 plus moorings that will be installed around the Boston harbor islands. The DCR is now in the process of acquiring a lobster boat with an a-frame lift capable of setting and lifting the moorings and 1 – 2 launch boats to transport passengers to Spectacle and Georges Islands. All moorings blocks will be standard 600 lb. mushroom anchors that can hold up to a 40 foot boat. So far fees proposed to use a mooring are $20 for 3-4 hours and $40 for full day and overnight. All fees with be done by credit card, no cash will be accepted. However, the Army Corps of Engineers reported that it will take two to four weeks to issue permits, so the moorings might not be available until the middle of July or August.




The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association has decided to sell the Providence Boat Show and has notified its vendors and sponsors that if no buyer is found, there will be no Providence Boat Show next winter. The Rhode Island Marine Trades Association purchased the Providence show in 2013 and spent considerable staff and organizational resources to re-energize the event with new attractions and features. The director of the association said they will now focus on advocating for legislation that supports the boating industry, make it a greener industry, and train a workforce to fuel the state’s marine businesses.




This past Thursday morning, the Boston passenger vessel Odyssey experienced a mechanical failure as it was leaving its Rowe’s Wharf dock in Boston Harbor striking six sailboats in the mooring field. At the time, there were 328 Newton middle school students on board for a class trip. TV newscasts showed a man jumping from one sailboat to another as the Odyssey started pushing them together. Fortunately, no injuries, significant damage, or pollution were reported, and the Odyssey was towed back to its dock. As required by law, alcohol testing of the captain was completed on site. The Coast Guard ordered the Odyssey not to leave the dock until its owners fix the problem and then take Coast Guard inspectors for a sea trial. The sea trials happened Saturday morning and everything was determined to be OK.




The Coast Guard is urging all kayak owners to affix a contact label with their name, address, and phone number. The information should be written with a laundry marker and not just a sharpie or magic marker. The Coast Guard said since January, about 60 searches resulted in New England waters after an unmanned kayak was found adrift with no owner’s information. This is the most in the country. At approximately $113,000 per hour to search in a helicopter, multiplied by the 60 searches, cost taxpayers nearly 7 million dollars.




A 78 year old Gloucester lobsterman had to be rescued by the Coast Guard after he suffered a bad cut on his leg and was bleeding badly. Someone on the boat named Sea Force called for help stating they were 12 miles offshore and a crew mate was struck in the leg by a cable while dropping a lobster pot and they could not stop the bleeding. The Coast Guard arrived on scene and applied a tourniquet to the man’s leg to stop the bleeding and to prevent him from going into shock. They brought him back to shore to a waiting ambulance that transported him to the hospital. He is expected to be OK.




Coast Guard Sector Boston coordinated the rescue of a man in an ocean rowboat who was trying to row across the Atlantic. The rower activated his emergency position indicating radio beacon just after midnight about 530 miles off the coast of Cape Cod alerting the Coast Guard that he was in distress. Using a satellite phone, he called watchstanders at the United Kingdom Mission Control Center stating that big waves had caused his rowboat to take on water and that he had abandoned the row boat and was trying to survive in his life raft. Coast Guard Sector Boston working with the United Kingdom Mission Control Center requested assistance from the Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Canada. A Canadian C-130 aircraft was sent to locate the life raft. Also an urgent marine radio broadcast was made asking any nearby vessels to assist. A Netherlands flagged vessel responded to the broadcast and was first to arrive on scene and rescued the rower in the life raft. A Coast Guard spokesperson said the search and rescue cooperation between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands vessel resulted in saving the man’s life.




There have been many stories about criminals crossing our borders on land. Here is a story taken from federal court documents about it happening on the water. Three men from the Republic of Georgia hijacked a charter boat from the Bahamas, stabbed the captain in the arm, and pushed him overboard, while smuggling two Brazilian men into South Florida. Fortunately, the wounded captain was rescued and made it safely back to shore. When the men docked at the marina in Florida, security cameras showed them walking to the street and hailing a taxi. Investigators were able to track the men down after speaking to the taxi driver who told them the hotel he took them too. All four were arrested and entered a plea deal. This past Thursday, a federal judge sentenced the two Georgians to prison for six years for smuggling a person into the U.S. for financial gain. The men had risked 40 years in prison if they had chosen to go to trial. However, it wasn’t disclosed what happened to the two Brazilians who as far as we know are still in the United States.




President Trump rescinded and revoked the 2010 National Ocean Policy executive order signed by President Obama that created regional planning bodies. Instead of the regional planning bodies, Trump’s new order calls for the establishment of an Ocean Policy Committee which will be primarily comprised of the heads of relevant federal agencies. The committee will also focus on improving the collection and dissemination of scientific data within and outside the government, as well as facilitate communications between the government and members of the private sector. Critics of Obama’s order said it was overreaching, threatening fishermen, jobs, and the economy. They claim the Trump administration is putting our country’s ocean policy back on the right track and giving fishermen a voice at the table.




And last on today’s nautical news, professors from the Colorado State University, the people who are the leading predictors of tropical storms and hurricanes in the U.S., claim Atlantic Ocean surface temperatures in the tropics have suddenly become substantially colder than normal, which could have profound impacts on this year’s hurricane season since warm water is the fuel source for tropical storms. This is good news for those islands in the tropics that took a beating from last year’s hurricanes. Currently, sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are the coldest they have been in the middle of June since 1982. Reports show the temperatures are an average 3 degrees colder than last year which is a huge difference.

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