Nautical News: For the week of November 25, 2018

SCIENTISTS ADMIT ERRORS MADE IN OCEAN WARMING STUDY

 

Scientists acknowledged this week they made key errors in a study that claimed the Earth’s oceans are warming faster than previously thought. The original study claimed that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than previously thought, but now the increase in heat might be as low as 10 percent. The bottom line is that the ocean is still in a warming cycle, but not warming at such a fast rate that lower carbon greenhouse gas emissions can’t fix it. A corrected study is now in the works.

 

GULF OF MAINE SHRIMP FISHERY CLOSED FOR NEXT 3 YEARS

 

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission just voted to close the Gulf of Maine shrimp season for the next three years. Commissioners from New Hampshire and Massachusetts supported the closure, while the commissioner of the Maine Department of Marine Resources voted against the closure. One commissioner said the shrimp fishery was shut down because the recruitment was below the median, even though it was estimated to be at 2 billion. Last October, the commission reported in its 2018 Stock Assessment Report that the Maine shrimp stock was depleted and the biomass was at an all-time low. Furthermore, they predicted the stock had little chance of recovering because of warmer sea temperatures. Once again shrimp fishermen argue the surveys done each year to assess the number of shrimp do not reflect what they see in the waters. They have no faith in the government’s surveys.

 

SCIENTISTS WARN ABOUT DANGER OF FARM RAISED SALMON

 

For years we have been warning about the dangers of fish farms and eating farm raised fish. A couple of weeks ago, scientists reported finding large amounts of organic waste in fish farms in the fjords of Norway. Now scientists warn about the dangers of antibiotics and drugs used to fight lice and other parasites in Scottish salmon farms. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency said the fish farms’ drugs were significantly impacting local marine environments. Residues from the drugs and chemicals had spread into the environment in concentrations far greater than what had previously been found, affecting areas of land and water far away from the fish farms. Two Scottish Parliamentary committees stated the damage done to the environment may be irreversible. Scotland is the largest Atlantic salmon aquaculture producer in the European Union and third in the world after Norway and Chile.

 

FOUR BOATS BURN AT NORWELL MARINA

 

This past week, Norwell Fire Department received several calls about heavy smoke in the area of the King’s Landing Marina on the North River. Arriving on scene, Norwell and Scituate firemen said several boats that were shrink wrapped and stored for the winter were on fire. Two boats were significantly damaged and a third and fourth boat had minor damage as the fire quickly spread. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but authorities believe the installation of the plastic shrink wrapping played a role. Fortunately there were no injuries.

 

FOUR FISHERMEN RESCUED OFF MAINE

 

Four fishermen on a Portland, Maine boat were rescued Wednesday morning after their 76 foot vessel sank in rough seas off Matinicus Island. The Coast Guard received a distress call early in the morning from the captain of the Aaron & Melissa II fishing boat stating his boat was taking on water and he and his crew were preparing to abandon ship into a life raft. Two helicopters from Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod flew to the scene and spotted the men wearing survival suits in the life raft. The emergency positioning device on the fishing vessel activated as soon as it hit the water which also helped the Coast Guard to find their position quickly. A rescue diver went into the water to help each of the four men into a basket as they were hoisted up to the helicopters. Everyone was safely returned home. The Coast Guard praised the crew for their preparedness. The 76-foot vessel sank in seas about 55 miles southeast of Rockland, Maine and south of Matinicus Island. Seas were 10 to 20 feet and the winds were near 30 miles per hour. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the sinking.

 

LAST SURVIVING MEMBER OF HISTORIC COAST GUARD RESCUE CREW DIES

 

The last surviving member of the Coast Guard crew who rescued 32 men off the stern section of the oil tanker Pendleton has died. Andrew Fitzgerald was 20 years old in 1952, the night that two oil tankers split in half during a major n’oreaster off the coast of Cape Cod. Andrew Fitzgerald and three other crewmates aboard a 36 foot Coast Guard motor life boat did the impossible, finding the Pendleton, packing 32 men on board, and bringing them back to shore alive across the shallow Chatham sand bar. The 30 – 60 foot waves often caused the Coast Guard boat’s engine to stall and Fitzgerald had to go down below each time to re-prime it. He went down in history as a hero, but never let it go to his head. Andrew Fitzgerald, dead at the age of 86.

 

ARGENTINIAN SUB FOUND AFTER MISSING FOR A YEAR

 

Remember the story about the Argentinian Navy submarine that went missing a year ago on November 15th with its 44 member crew. The news gripped the world as the captain reported he had a 7 day supply of air during one of his last radio calls. At the time of the disappearance, the Argentina Navy said water had entered the submarine’s snorkel causing the main battery to short-circuit. Other countries including the U.S. Navy helped in the search, but after searching for two weeks, twice as long as the sub’s air supply, the search was suspended. Now, almost a year to the date, a private company from the United States called Ocean Infinity, found the sub, 2,625 feet below the ocean’s surface. Families of the lost crew members blamed the Argentinian government for not properly funding their ships, and claim now the truth about what really happened will be told.

 

COAST GUARD AUTHORIZATION TO BE SIGNED BY PRESIDENT

 

The U.S. Senate passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017 which the National Marine Manufacturers Association played a pivotal role in shaping, benefiting the recreational boating industry. The legislation expands the use of alternative distress signals like LED lights and EPIRBS (emergency position indicating radio beacons) and provides new training for 911 dispatchers to better distinguish situations on whether to call the Coast Guard, the local harbor master, or a commercial tow company. The legislation also requires all new boats under the size of 26 feet be required to have installed a kill switch with a lanyard attached to the driver, so if he or she falls overboard, the engine will shut off. And the legislation extends the life of Coast Guard documentation certificates from one year to 5 years.


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