Nautical News: For the week of September 2, 2018

HINGHAM POLICE FIND SUV IN WATER AT BOAT LAUNCH RAMP

 

This past week, Hingham police found an SUV in the water at the town’s boat ramp while it was either attempting to load or offload a boat on a trailer. Police posted pictures of the accident on social media and reported that the SUV was a total loss after it was towed out of the water with boat.

 

FRENCH AND BRITISH FISHERMEN FIGHT OVER SCALLOPS

 

French and British fishermen threw stones and rammed each other’s boats in the English Channel while fishing for scallops. The fight was over the two country’s scallop regulations. The French fishermen are restricted by their government’s scallop fishing laws between October 1st through May 15th, but the U.K boats are allowed to fish year round in that same area. The conflict is now dubbed “Scallop Wars.” So far no fishermen have been injured or killed but boats have been damaged from the rammings. At last report, the British fishermen are demanding the Royal Navy protect them from the French boats.

 

DEAD SEALS TEST POSITIVE FOR VIRUS

 

Some of the first batch of sampled seals that stranded in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts during the last several weeks have tested positive for either avian influenza or phocine (fo’ sine) distemper virus. In some cases the seals have tested positive for both viruses. However, it is still too early to determine if either or both of these viruses were the primary cause of deaths of more than 400 seals on northeast beaches. If you see a sick or injured seal, do not touch it or let your pet near the seal. It is possible the virus could be contagious.

 

TWO BOAT FIRES ON CAPE COD

 

A 36 foot fishing boat in the Cape Cod Canal near the Bourne Bridge was on fire. The town of Bourne’s fire department fought the fire from land while the Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers arrived on scene to save the captain who was alone on board. The fire was extinguished and the boat towed away. There were no reports of any injuries. And in Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard, the Tisbury Police found a 55 foot boat engulfed in smoke and quickly evacuated everyone on the burning boat on to another nearby boat. The Tisbury and Oak Bluffs Fire Departments along with the Tisbury Harbormaster and the Coast Guard assisted in containing the fire. No one was injured in this fire either.

 

 

FISHERMAN FALLS OVERBOARD OFF PROVINCETOWN

 

The captain of the scallop boat Glutton called the Coast Guard around 7:15 Saturday morning stating that one of his crew, a 24-year-old man, had fallen overboard and became entangled in fishing gear. At the time, the captain said he was about 2 miles off the coast of Provincetown. Fortunately, the fisherman freed himself, resurfaced, and was recovered by his crew mates. A Coast Guard crew from Station Provincetown arrived on scene with a Provincetown Fire Department EMT to assess the condition of the fisherman. It was decided to call the Coast Guard for a helicopter to transport the fisherman to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis for further care. It was last reported that the fisherman was conscious and in stable condition.

 

LABOR DAY WEEKEND BEEN DEADLY FOR BOATERS IN THE PAST

 

The Coast Guard is urging people who plan to spend time on the water this Labor Day weekend to be extra cautious. Last year on Labor Day weekend, there were 54 boating fatalities in the Northeast, and of those, 39 were not wearing a life jacket. State and local law enforcement along with the Coast Guard will be patrolling local waterways, looking for people boating while intoxicated or in an unsafe manner. The Coast Guard is offering these tips to stay safe on the water this weekend: Wear your life jacket; take a VHF-FM marine radio and know how to use it; a cell phone can be a back-up if you stay close to shore, but it can lose its signal off shore or run out of battery power; always know before you go – monitor the weather broadcasts – listen for current storm advisories and sea conditions; bring a Signaling Device – boaters should have flares and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon – on a sunny day, a blank CD or mirror works great; and download the USCG app – the app has links to weather, electronic float plans, safety equipment requirements, etc. – it also includes an emergency assistance button to call the nearest Coast Guard command center.

 

GRANT MONEY TO HELP PAY DREDGING SOUTH RIVER

 

The towns of Marshfield and Scituate received a grant to pay for half of the anticipated cost to dredge the South River. The dredging project has been in the works for five years, but grant money was previously denied. The last time the South River was dredged was in 2006. MarshfIeld Harbormaster Mike DiMeo, who applied for this new grant, said three areas of the South River, from the mouth of the river to the Sea Street bridge, will be dredged. The grant was awarded by Secretary Jay Ash’s Office of Housing and Economic Development. You might recall that Secretary Ash was a guest on “Nautical Talk Radio” and gave yours truly an extensive interview.

 

DEMOLITION OF OLD FORE RIVER BRIDGE CONTINUES

 

Those who drive over the Fore River Bridge on Route 3A in Quincy and Weymouth might think the new bridge construction is completed, but those driving under it on a boat know differently. The Coast Guard is warning all mariners that the contractor is now just moving into the final phase of the project, removal of the remaining old bridge fendering system. They say that the channel will remain open, but equipment barges might be obstructing the channel. However, the barges will move as needed to accommodate the larger shipping traffic. This will remain a no wake zone until the project is finished in December. All marine traffic should proceed with extreme caution while transiting under the bridge.

 

DEAD RIGHT WHALE FOUND OFF MARTHA’S VINEYARD

 

A dead North Atlantic right whale, about 30 feet in length, was reported floating off Martha’s Vineyard. This is the second right whale found dead this year. The Coast Guard and NOAA Fisheries Woods Hole Laboratory said the whale was too decomposed to tow to shore, so a satellite tag was inserted into the whale’s carcass to monitor where it drifts. The International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Nantucket Marine Mammal Conservation assisted in the tagging. The previous confirmed right whale carcass was found off Virginia last January. In 2017, NOAA confirmed 17 North Atlantic right whales deaths, most of them in Canada.

 

MAN SURVIVED SHARK ATTACK BY PUNCHING ITS GILLS

 

Bill Lytton, the 61 year old Scarsdale, New York man who was bitten by a shark on a Cape Cod beach about 2 weeks ago said he survived by punching the shark in its gills. He said he was swimming in about 7 or 8 feet of water when he suddenly felt excruciating pain and was being pulled under water. Fortunately, he said he remembered seeing in documentaries how dolphins escaped a shark attack by ramming the shark’s gills, so he punched the shark in the gills as hard as he could. In fact he punched it so hard, doctors said he tore the tendons in his arm. Fortunately, the shark opened it jaws and swam away. Miraculously Lytton made it back to shore where he was treated by good Samaritans, two of whom were nursing graduates. Eventually he was airlifted to a hospital where he had to be placed in a coma for two days while doctors performed 6 different surgeries. We understand that he is now recovering at a rehab hospital.


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