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Featured Stories on Boating and Boater Safety

The real Jack Aubrey

Thomas Cochrane was a public hero but a thorn in the side to both Napoleon and the British naval establishment

England had never seen the likes of it. In late February 1805, as the naval war with Napoleon intensified, a string of captured enemy merchantmen began streaming into the busy harbor at Plymouth manned by exuberant British prize crews.

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An eager student, a trusted mentor

When Thomas Cochrane reported for duty to his uncle Lord Alexander Cochrane’s ship at age 17 to begin his career in the British navy, he had little more to offer than a burning desire to succeed.

First to notice the thin, serious Scottish lad was Lt. Jack Larmour. This popular, experienced and happy-go-lucky sailor took Cochrane under his wing, for which the future admiral would be forever grateful. Even in his bitter old age, thoughts of Larmour brought a smile to Cochrane’s face.

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Intimidation through innovative seamanship

Thomas Cochrane earned the nickname Sea Wolf for his audacity, but he also was a superior seaman who delighted in the clever “ruse de guerre.”

He had only 40 men on board the frigate Pallas when three French corvettes approached. Cochrane saw escape was not just useless, but needless.

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Treasure hunters with MBAs

High-tech exploration and high-stakes bounties heat up the debate on the motives of undersea archaeology

Odyssey COO/president Mark Gordon (left) and CEO/co-founder Greg Stemm aboard the Odyssey Explorer.Treasure hunter, marine archaeologist or businessman? Articulate, energetic and clean-cut, Mark D. Gordon, Odyssey Marine Exploration’s 48-year-old president and chief operating officer, fits to a T what you would expect of a top executive of a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ.

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Court will decide who gets $500M haul

Odyssey Marine Exploration might have to give a half-billion dollars worth of gold and silver coins back to Spain because the treasure likely came from a Spanish warship and, if so, the vessel still belongs to Spain, according to a judge’s report.

All the evidence suggests the shipwreck, code-named Black Swan, is Nuestra Senora de Mercedes, a Spanish frigate that exploded and sank in an 1804 engagement with the British fleet, U.S. Magistrate Mark A. Pizzo writes in a June 3 advisory report for U.S. District Court in Tampa, Fla.

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