Nautical News: For the week of August 22, 2019



Two charter boats, a 21 footer named Jenna Marie and a 58 footer named Captain George collided on the Merrimack River yesterday around noon time. The smaller boat Jenna Marie capsized with 5 people aboard, two of them were children. None of them were wearing a lifejacket. A passing whale watch boat named Captain Lady helped the local harbormaster pull 4 of the 5 people out of the water. The fifth person was trapped under the capsized boat and was rescued by the Coast Guard. One person was reported to be injured. The Coast Guard is investigating the accident.


An MBTA commuter boat operated by Boston Harbor Cruises ran aground and hit the rocks in in between Boston’s Long island and a navigation marker known as Nixes Mate. Multiple Coast Guard boats as well as state police and Boston police responded to the grounding. The commuter boat had departed from Hull at 7:30 in the morning carrying 84 passengers to Boston. Several people were injured and four were transported to a hospital. The captain of the commuter boat said he hit the rocks after avoiding a collision with another boat. Witnesses said the fog limited visibility to about a quarter of a mile. Coast Guard officials said the commuter boat had a hole in its hull, but it was above the water line. The MBTA dispatched another vessel and safely removed all the passengers from the boat. The boat was able to make it to a Boston shipyard under its own power. The captain was reportedly taken off the job and is awaiting the results of a mandatory drug test.


And another boating accident a collision between a sailing catamaran and a 25 foot powerboat in Newport, Rhode Island resulted in the death of a 60 year old female sailor who was racing her F18 catamaran in the New England 100 Regatta, an event that she had organized. No one else was injured in the crash. A week prior to the accident, the sailor had won the Buzzards Bay Regatta with her F18 catamaran.




U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt unveiled improvements to the Endangered Species Act. Since it was enacted 45 years ago, the act has saved some of America’s most treasured animals and plants from the bald eagle to the American alligator, but has never had an exit strategy to de-list the species it has saved. Some consider the act a failure because it has saved only 44 species out of 2000 that were listed as either endangered or threatened. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that the new revisions to the Act fit squarely within the President’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public, without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals. Now to add or remove a species from the list must be based solely on the best available scientific and commercial information and have nothing to do with climate change and a heightened standard to declare an area a critical habitat area.. The standards for de-listing a species must consider the same five statutory factors as the listing of a species in the first place.




Last month, the Baker-Polito Administration announced $4.1 million in grant awards to five Commonwealth communities for the first ever grant round of the Massachusetts Dredging Program. Grants were awarded for saltwater dredging projects to help coastal communities to maintain and improve their navigational waterways and support the long-term growth and sustainability of the state’s maritime economy. During this inaugural grant round five dredging grants were awarded to Beverly, Nantucket, Chatham, Dennis, and Hingham. Hingham will receive $2,000,000 to remove an estimated 62,000 cubic yards of sediment from the Hingham Inner Harbor.




Robert Ballard, the discoverer of the Titanic and the giant Nazi battleship Bismarck, and 18 other shipwrecks in the Black Sea, now claims he has found the remains of the plane Amelia Earhart was flying when she disappeared in 1937. Ballard has set course for a remote atoll in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati to recover it. If his expedition succeeds, he’ll not only solve one of the enduring mysteries of the 20th century. According to a U.S. Navy official report, a search pilot in 1937 saw “signs of recent habitation” on the island, but because nobody waved them down, the search team left. What they didn’t know was that the island had been uninhabited for 40 years. Ballard’s search is being funded by the National Geographic Society, which will record the progress of his high tech ship Nautilus and its crew for an Oct. 20 television program.




During the federal trial involving the sinking of Nathan Carman’s boat, in which his mother was lost at sea, a lawyer for one of his insurance companies said it was “perfectly predictable” that the boat would sink after Carman removed the boat’s trim tabs and put an inappropriate epoxy in the holes. Witnesses at the marina testified that they also saw Carman drilling holes in the transom of the boat. The insurance company has refused to pay the $85,000 claim filed by Carman. You might recall that Carman said he was adrift in a lifeboat for seven days before being found. He said he lost sight of his mother when he retrieving the lifeboat. His mother, Linda Carman, has never been found. An oceanographer from Woods Hole said the ocean currents did not line up with the drift pattern of Carman’s lifeboat when he was rescued. Also, a doctor claimed that after Carman was rescued, he did not look like a person who had just spent seven days adrift in a liferaft. In an opening statement, Carman’s attorney said his client was naive about how boats worked when he purchased his boat named Chicken Pox from a man in Plymouth.

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