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News Notes – Connecticut & New York

“Deadliest Catch” stars talk safety at boat show

The co-captains of the Time Bandit, a vessel long featured in the popular Discovery Channel show “Deadliest Catch,” talked boating safety in September with the Coast Guard Auxiliary at the Norwalk (Conn.) International Boat Show, held at the Norwalk Cove Marina.

Capt. John Hillstrand, Cmdr. Art Gottleib and Capt. Andy Hillstrand discuss the value of wearing life jackets and carrying VHF radios at the Norwalk (Conn.) International Boat Show.

Brothers and co-captains John and Andy Hillstrand discussed the value of wearing life jackets and carrying VHF radios while boating, according to a release from the Coast Guard Auxiliary. They also demonstrated inflatable life jackets. “Our crew likes the inflatable life jackets; they do not restrict their movement, yet are there if you need it,” says Andy.

“Deadliest Catch” follows crews as they brave the Bering Sea while fishing for prized Alaskan king and Opilio crabs. Alaskan king crab fishing is considered the most hazardous job in America in both injuries and fatalities; the majority of the fatalities are due to drowning.

C.G. Auxiliary crews help at Lighthouse Race

Two U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary vessels and crew provided regatta patrol for the recent 2009 Lighthouse to Lighthouse Race in Long Island Sound. Members of Sound Kayakers Club provided logistical and software support for computing race results.

The race had a turnout of nearly 100 manually powered vessels and 130 racers from across the Northeast. The race course runs between Pecks Ledge Lighthouse in Norwalk, Conn., and the Greens Ledge Lighthouse.

One auxiliary boat was stationed at the roughest stretch, from the western point of Sheffield Island to the Greens Ledge Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse to Lighthouse Race raised more than $3,000 for Soundkeeper, a non-profit group dedicated to protecting and preserving Long Island Sound for recreational and commercial use through legal advocacy, monitoring and practical solutions such as pumpout boats and storm drain filters.

Conn. Community Boating wins Challenge

Connecticut Community Boating won the Northeast Regional Award for the Interlux Waterfront Challenge, and $5,000 for their efforts to clean up Long Island Sound. The project was spearheaded by Captain Chris German of CCB.

CCB recently collected 400 bags of garbage and debris, keeping it from washing into the watershed at Seaside Park, Long Beach West and Pleasure Beach, according to Interlux. This was a combined effort of CCB kids, members of the town of Stratford, scouts from Sea Scout Ship 101, and the Cardinal Sheehan Center, according to Interlux.

“We gave 150 people the chance to use Long Island Sound in a recreationally passive and environmentally friendly manner for the lowest cost. Plus, we collected some 400 bags of garbage and debris,” says German.

CCB established the first community boating fleet in 40 years in 2008 in Bridgeport. The community boating fleet opened an opportunity to kids from low-to moderate-income homes to sail Long Island Sound, according to Interlux.

To volunteer with CCB or provide boats, contact German at (203) 382-3661.

Rare maps on display at Mystic Seaport

An exhibition of rare and historic maps dating from 1544 to 1802 are on display at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Conn. The traveling exhibit, titled “Mapping the Pacific Coast: Coronado to Lewis and Clark, the Quivira Collection,” is on loan from the private collection of Henry and Holly Wendt of Washington. The collection features more than 30 historic maps, illustrations and books, the oldest of which — a rare woodcut map by Sebastian Munster — dates to 1544.

Once highly prized and jealously guarded by European rulers, the maps illustrate the 16th- and 17th century quest to find a lucrative trade route and claim new territories. Individually, the maps are works of art, featuring ornate cartouches and borders, imaginative drawings of sea serpents and ships, and detailed observations about coastlines and rivers — some accurate and some not.

“Mapping the Pacific Coast: Coronado to Lewis and Clark” will remain open in the Mallory Exhibit Hall during regular museum hours through January. For information, visit

Travelers offers discount for safer boating

Travelers recently announced a new discount on boat and yacht insurance premiums for boaters that use Autotether wireless emergency-stop lanyards.

The Autotether wireless emergency-stop lanyard is designed to reduce the chances of a runaway boat by turning off the motor should the operator go overboard. Wearing an emergency-stop lanyard is required by law in only six states, according to Travelers’ representatives.

Travelers says it is currently reviewing safety devices made by other manufacturers in the hopes of offering a similar discount in the future.

Newcoast launches new Web site

Newcoast Financial Services recently announced the launch of a new Web site at designed to educate boating and yachting customers on how Newcoast Financial can provide specialized financing programs to meet individual needs.

Newcoast Financial Services specializes in the marine industry. Visitors to the site will be able to learn about available services, find a local contact, ask questions and submit a loan application. Services include new boat, yacht and sailboat loans; used boat and yacht financing; and refinancing of existing marine loans, according to the company.

This article originally appeared in the Connecticut & New York Home Waters section of the December 2009 issue.