On Feb. 18, 1952, the Coast Guard rescued 70 men from the tankers Fort Mercer and Pendleton, which broke in half off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a brutal nor’easter. The story of Boatswain’s Mate First Class Bernard Webber and his crew of three, who headed into 60-foot seas and 70-knot winds in the 36-foot Motor Lifeboat CG-36500 to rescue 32 crewmembers from the stern section of the 503-foot Pendleton, is the stuff of legend.
The toxic cyanobacteria bloom began as slime green, turned bright blue, then brown and finally transmuted into a mass of black rot as the stench hanging over the St. Lucie River ripened from the smell of rotting garbage to putrid carcasses to feces.
Two miles down on a seafloor strewn with chimney-like accretions that spew a black plume of super-heated chemical soup, life exists. Tube worms 7 feet long have colonized here, along with tiny translucent octopuses, giant clams and shrimp dining on bacteria that produce energy not by photosynthesis but chemosynthesis in this light-starved, chemical-rich environment.
New Jersey anglers are challenging the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over a beach renourishment plan, the latest battle in what has become a worldwide dispute about the use of sand as a natural resource.
Richard W. Ohrn went missing for 12 days last year after his blood-spattered boat was found abandoned and dragging anchor two miles off Delray Beach, Florida. That triggered a Coast Guard search and a federal charge that by staging his disappearance “to escape legal issues” — the Palm Beach County sheriff’s description of why he vanished — he caused a false distress alert.
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