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News Focused on Activity in our Coastal Waters

Hooking great whites to study the breed

This team takes catch and release to a new level, tagging the giant sharks in the interests of conservation

Marine conservationist Chris Fischer and a team of anglers and scientists will be featured in this summer's 'Expedition Great White,' which airs on the Nartional Geographic Channel. In what makes for exciting footage, the sharks are lifted from the water using the research vessel's hydraulic lifting platform.Chris Fischer fell in love with the ocean as a boy, fishing from a 16-foot trihull in Florida. That bond with the sea has only strengthened through the years, and today the 41-year-old marine conservationist has orchestrated an unprecedented study of the great white shark.

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Satellites have long been saving lives

A total of 195 Americans were saved last year with the help of the international Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking system, or SARSAT, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Maritime rescues accounted for 154 of the 195 lives saved, says Lt. Shawn Maddock, NOAA SARSAT operations support officer.

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One giant leap for vessel-tracking

Giving AIS a satellite platform will greatly expand its range - from the coasts onto the oceans

An AIS antenna was installed on the International Space Station late last year to test vessel tracking from space.When shuttle astronauts Michael Foreman and Randolph Bresnik flew to the International Space Station during Thanksgiving last year, they attached an Automatic Identification System antenna to the Columbus laboratory so the European Space Agency could begin testing a pair of AIS receivers for use in tracking global maritime traffic from space.

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Why we'll regret the demise of Loran

An electronics consultant offers a dissenting voice on the Coast Guard's decision to scrap the system

Radio-navigational towers that transmitted Loran-C signals have fallen silent after the federal ruling to end support for the system.Editor's note: The Coast Guard announced Jan. 7 it would decommission the Loran-C program and terminate the Loran-C signal broadcast from Jupiter Inlet, Fla., effective Feb. 8. The federal government says technological advances, specifically the ascendancy of GPS, have made the 67-year-old Loran-C program obsolete. Chuck Husick, an electronics engineer who runs a consultancy in the marine and aviation fields, tells us how the decision was made and why he thinks it's wrong.

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Dispatches April 2010

THE START OF SOMETHING BIG:

This hull mold is for the newest member of the Viking Yachts fleet, the 70 Convertible. Construction of the four-stateroom yacht was to begin in February, and the New Gretna, N.J.-based builder expects to launch it this summer. www.vikingyachts.com

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