A container ship and a fishing boat collided in May at night in a ship’s channel eight miles south of Gulfport, Miss., with the loss of three of the fishboat’s 16 crewmembers — another tragedy that raises concerns about ships steaming through waters where fishing vessels are at work.
The 660-foot Eurus London, en route to Freeport, Texas, with a load of bananas, and the 163-foot Sandy Point collided about 8:45 p.m. May 18 in the cut between Cat Island and Ship Island on a night that was dark but not foggy, the Coast Guard says. The Sandy Point, a menhaden boat based out of Omega Protein Corp.’s processing plant in Moss Point, Miss., took on water and sank.
The March 2009 sinking of the fishing vessel Lady Mary off Cape May, N.J., with the loss of six crewmembers inspired a 20-page Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper account of the tragedy and, with the loss of five other fishermen off New Jersey in 2009, raised an alarm that helped push far-reaching fishing vessel safety measures through Congress.
At the press of a single button, DSC radio technology can put a Coast Guard rescue helicopter overhead within minutes. But in the 12 years since the government required manufacturers to include this technology, only a small fraction of U.S. boaters have done the two things to enable their VHF radios for digital selective calling.
Eric Kunz and Todd Crocker are veterans of the U.S. marine electronics industry. Ask them about the boating public’s failure to embrace VHF digital selective calling technology and they turn the conversation to mobile phones.
Four American cruisers shot and killed, seven Danes taken hostage on their yacht, a Dutch couple's 60-foot dive boat boarded, all in a month's time in the Indian Ocean, as the plague of Somali piracy continues unabated.
The attacks now come with more violence and over a much greater expanse of water, from the Horn of Africa east to India and south to Mozambique.
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