Nautical News: For the week of August 12, 2018


Hull Harbormaster Kurt Bornheim was on scene of a boat fire that happened Friday night off the point of Hull in an area known as Hull Gut. He reported the boat was a 33 foot twin engine Trojan express boat with 5 people on board. The boat had departed from Steamboat Wharf Marina in Hull and was heading for Boston when heavy smoke started to fill the boat. A passing boat was able to take the 5 people off the boat before anyone was injured. Soon thereafter, the abandoned boat became fully engulfed in flames and started drifting through the Gut in the Fore River Channel. Harbormasters from Hingham, Quincy, and Boston soon joined the Hull Harbormaster as did the State Police. Fireboats from Boston, Massport, Braintree, and firemen in the town of Hull’s inflatable boat also arrived on scene to fight the fire along with Sea Tow and Tow Boat/U.S. Although the Coast Guard from nearby Station Point Allerton was one of the first responders on scene, it should be noted that the Coast Guard has no nearby firefighting boats. Ultimately, the fire was so intense that the boat burned to its waterline and sank. Officials said there were no signs of pollution, but we were told there were about 100 gallons of fuel on the boat. Hull Harbormaster Bornheim said the boat was visiting the area from Connecticut, and the name on its transom was High Maintenance. A commercial tow boat company was going to remove and salvage the boat’s hull.


And two boats collided off Cape Cod. A commercial fishing boat named the Great Pumkin and a 38 foot charter boat named Artemis II out of Allen Harbor collided in heavy fog about three or four miles southeast of Monomoy Point, in the area of Pollock Rip Channel. The fishing boat sustained heavy damage to its stern as the charter boat ended up on its side atop of the fishing boat’s stern before sliding off and sinking. The Great Pumpkin’s fishing gear was crushed and its transom destroyed. Seven or eight people ended up in the water, but all were saved with the help of fishermen on the nearby fishing boat who claimed the charter boat Artemis II was going fast when it hit the fishing boat. Officials said it was remarkable that no one was hurt or killed. The Great Pumpkin was able to return shore under its own power. The collision is under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office.


This past Tuesday, a whale necropsy and burial occurred on a Marshfield beach after a dead minke whale was found lying alongside the town’s jetty. A team from the New England Aquarium completed the necropsy on an adult female Minke whale that was about 20 years old. Scientists said she showed signs of distress before dying and washing up on the beach. New England Aquarium spokesman, Tony LaCasse said his team collected numerous tissue samples to be sent out to labs across the country to find out if there was a virus, bacteria or some kind of change in environmental conditions that was causing these deaths. Deputy Superintendent of Marshfield’s DPW, Shawn Patterson said burying the whale in a 20 foot hole was the best option since towing it out to sea required permits. Officials from the New England Aquarium said results from the necropsy may not be known for about four months.


And speaking of whales, Plymouth boaters are seeing young humpback and minke whales in Warren Cove, which is known as a local feeding spot for the whales. Boaters are urged to stay at least 100 feet away from the whales and not take any chances of injuring the whales or damaging their boat. Although the whales have very sensitive hearing, boaters have witnessed these whales logging or sleeping at the surface.


When cruising off the coast of Florida, it is not uncommon to see fish fly beside a moving boat, sometimes flying or gliding more than 600 feet at a time. While they are not usually seen around here, we have received reports of flying fish in Buzzards Bay. A biologist with the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries said the flying fish follow the gulf stream, and the winds and warm water from a strong Bermuda high pressure system brought them farther north than normal. He said it was OK for recreational fishermen to catch them, and added that the state has no regulations for the species since they are not frequently seen here.


A number of companies have tried different designs for ropeless lobster pots to eliminate the threat of entangling whales, but a Canadian company called Ashored Innovations, claims they have designed a reliable, submersible lobster pot marker buoy that goes down with the lobster trawl and is retrieved via acoustic release technology. No need to replace the traps – just replace the markers with smart buoys. The big advantage about this company’s design is that the markers give a signal showing where other lobstermen have set their traps, but only an assigned security code can make the markers pop to the surface. After more testing is done at different depths and different sea conditions, the company is hoping to have their smart buoys on the market before spring of next year.


In 1984, Wilson Lobao Jr. started building a 45 foot trimaran sailboat in the back yard of his house in Peabody. The boat was designed by Roger Simpson, a famous Australian multi-hull designer. Unfortunately, Mr. Lobao died in a freak accident last year at the age of 76 before finishing the boat. His wife also recently passed, so their heirs decided to sell the house which they did. The buyer agreed to a stipulation in the real estate contract that gave the heirs one year to remove the boat from the property or else it would be scrapped. The family said they want to give the boat away to anyone who promises to finish the boat and pay the costs to remove it from the property. Those in the know say an addition $150 – $175,000 is needed to finish the boat and make it sea worthy. A spokesperson said it was his dream to sail the boat, and with his passing, it has become our dream to see it sail, so someone please put on your sailing shoes.

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