Nautical News: For the week of October 14, 2018

BOAT CAPSIZES IN SALEM HARBOR

 

The Coast Guard launched a search of a boater in distress in Salem harbor after they received a mayday call Friday night. Harbormasters from Marblehead and Salem also joined in the search. A commercial tow boat operator said he thought he heard a person calling for help and turned on his spotlight. As he moved closer to the voice, he saw an 18 foot boat overturned with a man holding on. He pulled him out of the water and brought him to EMTs waiting on shore. They reported that the man was conscious and alert, but suffering from hypothermia and transported him to the hospital. The Coast Guard said the 56 year old man was in the water for nearly two hours and was not wearing a life jacket. Water temperature was around 65 degrees. A Coast Guard spokesperson said boaters should dress for the water temperature and not the air temperature and of course, always wear a life jacket.

 

BOATER DIES AFTER BOAT OVERTURNS IN ROCKPORT

 

Last Sunday afternoon, off the coast of Rockport, there was a call for help about an overturned 20 foot Grady White boat and two people in the water. A Coast Guard helicopter crew from Air Station Cape Cod, a rescue boat from Coast Guard Station Gloucester, and the Rockport harbormaster responded. It was reported that the boat got caught in the surf and that a 10 foot wave flipped the boat. One man was recovered from the water by Rockport Harbormaster Rosemary Lesch with the help of the Coast Guard on her boat. They performed CPR on him on board the boat and brought to him to a waiting ambulance. He later was pronounced dead at the hospital. The other man on the boat was able to get to shore and was rescued by the Coast Guard helicopter crew. Both men were said to be in the fifties.

 

ANOTHER DEAD WHALE IN MARSHFIELD

 

Another dead whale washed up in Marshfield, the fourth to die along the South Shore in the last two months and the 20th of its species to die in New England this year. This 26-foot-long minke whale up in Brant Rock near The Fairview Inn. Its cause of death is unknown as the whale was badly decomposed and showed signs of shark bites. The whale is the second minke to wash up in Brant Rock this season. Also beach walkers on Nantasket Beach called the police and New England Aquarium after seeing the remains of an unidentified animal. It turned out that the remains were identified as being a tongue from a dead whale.

 

NEW HERRING REGULATIONS COULD FORCE LOBSTERMEN TO STAY HOME

 

If a proposal by the New England Fisheries Management Council to make large changes to the herring fishery is passed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, lobstermen in Maine claim they will be forced to sit out the next season if the price for herring bait skyrockets. The NEFMC said its Amendment 8 has been in the works for years, so the industry should have been better prepared. The herring proposal will also affect boats that use midwater trawl gear. They will be banned from fishing within 12 nautical miles from shore. Environmental organizations like the Pew Charitable Trusts wanted the ban to be at least 50 miles from shore.

 

TANKER LOSES POWER OFF NANTUCKET

 

This past Friday, the engine room in an asphalt tanker ship caught on fire as the ship was about 40 miles off the coast of Nantucket. The crew managed to extinguish the fire and anchor the ship to stop it from drifting. Another nearby tanker arrived on scene and stood by and the Coast Guard sent a plane and a cutter to investigate. They reported no pollution and no apparent injuries. Commercial tug boats were summonsed and were towing the tanker to an undisclosed port.

 

CABIN CRUISER CATCHES FIRE IN CAPE COD CANAL

 

Also on Friday, a 32 foot cabin cruiser out of Boston caught fire in the Cape Cod Canal after losing power in an engine. Its captain issued a mayday call as the boat drifted on to the rocks at the side of the canal. Fire departments from Wareham, Bourne, and Onset all responded to the scene as did an Army Corps of Engineers Cape Cod Canal Traffic Control vessel. The captain was safely removed from the boat and the fire was quickly extinguished. Since the hull and the boat’s fuel tank were not compromised, a marine salvage company towed the boat to Onset for repairs.

 

NOAA DECLARES OCTOBER NATIONAL SEAFOOD MONTH

 

October is National Seafood Month and NOAA Fisheries say it is a perfect time to highlight NOAA’s larger “Blue Economy” initiative as an important guiding force for our seafood future. As a NOAA wide initiative, the Blue Economy effort touches on many areas of the agency, continuing to maximize commercial and recreational fishing opportunities. It was reported that the U.S. seafood industry supports 1.6 million jobs and that many of these employees work for small, family operated businesses.

BOAT BUILDERS LIKE NEW U.S. MEXICO CANADA AGREEMENT

 

The president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association had praise for the new United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. He said that it includes priorities for the recreational boating industry that the NMMA worked hard to secure and will soon resolve the retaliatory tariffs put in place. The NMMA’s American and Canadian presidents released a joint statement saying the new agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. is excellent news for the recreational boating industry and countless others who rely on the free flow of goods in North America.

 

THOM DAMMRICH ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT

 

In a related story, Thom Dammrich, who has been the president of the NMMA for nearly twenty years announced that he will retire on July 1, 2019. A search committee made up of NMMA board members will hire a search firm this fall and begin the process of identifying Dammrich’s successor in early 2019.

 

GREEN ALGAE KILLS IGUANAS IN FT LAUDERDALE

 

As the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show gets ready to open the end of this month, seawalls in Fort Lauderdale are lined with dried green algae and many waterways have areas that are bright with algal bloom. The green algae is found across the Lake Okeechobee that connects Florida’s west coast to its east coast. A Fort Lauderdale marina manager said it is so bad this year, it reminds him of the blob. At first he thought it was paint dust before being told it was the green algae blob. Boat owners are urged to close their thru hull valves to prevent the algae from accumulating in the thru hull strainers. Many people are concerned about the harm the algae is doing the sea life. Dead iguanas in the water are a frequent sight.


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