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News notes – Long Island Sound

Investigation probes cutter, ferry collision

The Coast Guard is investigating a July 2 collision between the 140-foot Coast Guard buoy tender MorroBay and a 175-foot ferry that occurred three miles north of Block Island, R.I. There were no serious injuries reported.

Coast Guard investigators are interviewing both the crew of MorroBay and the ferry, which was shuttling 257 passengers from Point Judith to Block Island. Drug and alcohol tests were conducted on ferry and Coast Guard crew members.

The commanding officer of MorroBay, Lt. Douglas Wyatt, had just taken command of MorroBay in a change of command ceremony in Newport, R.I. The cutter was headed back to its home port in New London, Conn., following the ceremony when the collision occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident.

Boat show puts in at Norwalk Cove Marina

The 33rd edition of the Norwalk

International In-Water Boat Show is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 18-21 at Norwalk Cove Marina in East Norwalk, Conn.

More than 750 luxury motor- and sailing yachts, sportfishermen, performance boats, sailboats, personal watercraft, and inflatables will be on display along with fishing gear and a selection of engines, electronics and marine accessories.

Additional highlights include free Discover Boating and sailing rides on Long Island Sound, Kid’s Cove featuring sand art, a fishing pond, opportunities to learn casting skills and techniques direct from the pros and hands-on seminars from Westport Outfitters and Ranger Boats.

Capt. Andy LoCasio and Capt. Rich Tenreiro, hosts of the Northeast Angling TV show, will offer free boating and fishing seminars.

Prices are adults: $15; youth (13-15): $8; children (12 and under): free.

Advance ticket sales available at .

Boatyard chain offers $25,000 gas giveaway

Brewer Yacht Yards is giving its customers over $25,000 worth of fuel this summer with a dozen $100 drawings at each of its locations. The drawings began June 5 and will continue until Labor Day.

Brewer Yacht Yards will be drawing one name, each week, at each of its 23 yards. This equates to 276 winners during the course of the season.

Every Brewer Yacht Yard slip customer will automatically be entered to win. Brewer customers also have the Customer Club Card, which offers benefits such as gas discounts of 10 to 20 cents per gallon.

Free gas paired with incentive for buyers

Two of Zodiac’s RIBs — the 28-foot Zodiac Pro 20-Man and Pro Open 850 models — are now available with a $1,000 free gas promotion, available through participating dealers in North America.

“By pairing this $1,000 free gas offer with two of our most popular, fuel-efficient center console RIB models, we’re delivering a one-two punch to high fuel prices that will really resonate with boaters,” says Howard French, vice president and general manager of Zodiac of North America, Recreational Sector. Buyers also have the option of choosing a $1,000 cash rebate instead of the free gas.

Restored steamer Sabino turns 100

Mystic Seaport is honoring the 100th anniversary of Sabino with six history-themed river cruises.

The 90-minute cruises leave Mystic Seaport at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7, 14 and 21. Visitors will tour the historic MysticRiver as the sun sets, while listening to speakers discuss the history of the steamer, the river and local peoples. A cash bar will be available, as well as light fare for purchase.

Built in East Boothbay, Maine, Sabino entered service for the Damariscotta Steamboat Company in 1908. The 57-foot coal-fired steamer spent her days delivering passengers to the numerous hotels along the 12 miles of the scenic DamariscottaRiver.

After a long career on the rivers of Maine and Massachusetts, Sabino was retired, and in 1975 began a new era of passenger service at Mystic Seaport. As the last wooden, coal-fired steamboat still in operation, the Sabino was in 1992 designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Tickets are $19.08 per cruise. Call (860) 572-5351 for reservations.

Workshops offer hands-on experience for kids

Throughout the summer, visitors can participate in workshops at Mystic Seaport and then take home the fruits of their labor with “Hands-On History,” the museum’s newest interactive program. Eight hour-long workshops are offered on a rotating basis.

“Hands-On History lets children and parents work together while trying their hand at 19th-century craftsmanship,” says Jonathan Shay, director of exhibits and interpretation for the museum. “Staff artisans lead a series of workshops focusing on the specialized trades that may have been found in a seafaring village similar to Mystic Seaport.”

Children can stop by the toy boat workshop to assemble and decorate their own wooden toy boat daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Three times a day, older children and adults can try their hand at that day’s selected workshop. Visitors can make a canvas ditty bag, learn fancy knot work and rope slices, make a wood carving, press flowers in the Victorian style, dip tapered candles, print decorative note cards, and try their hand at blacksmithing. This summer two of these workshops will be offered daily.

For information regarding each day’s offering of workshops, contact the Sabino and Hands-On History ticket office at (860) 572-5351.

Long Island LNG plant plan not sunk yet

Broadwater Energy LLC filed an administrative appeal June 27 with the U.S. Department of Commerce, asking that the department override an objection by the State of New York.

In April, New York announced its objection to Broadwater’s proposal to construct and operate a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and associated pipeline that would be located in the New York waters off Long Island Sound.

The Commerce Department can override New York’s objection on grounds that the project is consistent with the objectives and purposes of the Coastal Zone Management Act or otherwise necessary in the interest of national security.

A week after the appeal was filed, Coast Guard Captain Daniel Ronan, captain of the Port of Long Island Sound, announced he has signed the Letter of Recommendation for the Broadwater project.

“The Coast Guard is neither an advocate for nor an opponent of the proposed LNG facility,” says Ronan. “The Coast Guard’s role is to provide an objective analysis … of the associated maritime safety and security risks associated with the carriage of LNG along the carrier proposed route.”

The recommendation is that the waterway is not currently suitable, but can be made suitable for the LNG marine traffic along the carrier route associated with the proposed LNG terminal if several risk mitigation measures are implemented.

U.S. Power Squadrons now issuing MMSIs

The United States Power Squadrons (USPS) is now an official source for Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) numbers, which corresponds to the Coast Guard’s Rescue 21 System.

USPS also has a seminar titled “Using VHF and VHF/DSC Marine Radio” that explains how to select and use the new radios and their advanced features. In the seminar, attendees will be able to observe simulated calls and take home a CD to practice on their own. The seminar also comes with a waterproof “Quick Guide.”

By registering a MMSI number for their vessel, through their GPS, boaters provide key information to the Coast Guard about their vessel and its owner.

To evaluate requirements or to obtain your free MMSI for domestic use, go to or call (888) 367-8777.

Cadets in need of new sailboats for training

The Coast Guard Academy is seeking modern sail training vessels to train cadets. The goal is to build eight boats, one for each cadet company, to supplement summer waterborne training and for weekend cruises when academy juniors and seniors would earn qualifications.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary, which is the uniformed civilian component of the United States Coast Guard, suggests those interested in supporting the program contact Donald B. Trone, director of the Institute for Leadership at (412) 860-4982 or e-mail .

Tow firm reports steady holiday activity

Sea Tow Services International released statistics on the company’s activity level for what was a moderately busy Independence Day holiday.

“Reports from across the country indicate that boaters stayed close to home this year. However, that trend could be equally reflective of the unpredictable weather patterns that plagued much of the East Coast as it is of current economic conditions,” says Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer III, Sea Tow’s vice president of operations.

While call volume at the company’s 24-hour national dispatch center was statistically on par with last year, it experienced a 30 percent increase in the number of requests for on-the-water assistance.

Of the more than 1,100 service calls reported, there were 682 tows, 119 ungroundings, 103 fuel drop requests, 99 jump-starts, 61 salvages, 19 maydays and 11 MARBS. Nearly 25 percent of the calls came during off-peak hours (between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.) and Sea Tow captains were involved in at least a half-dozen life-saving incidents across the country.

Windjammer Weekend dates are set

The 14th Annual Windjammer Weekend is scheduled to return to CamdenHarbor Aug. 29–31, and feature the largest annual gathering of Maine’s historic windjammer fleet and a parade of sail against the pine-shrouded backdrop of Camden Hills.

Nearly 30 schooners will converge on Camden for this year’s event. Crews will offer tours and cruises to passengers. Windjammer Weekend offers a Build-A-Boat contest, the Harbor Hounds Dog Show, lobster crate races, a free movie screening of “Captains Courageous” that encourages moviegoers to wear foul weather gear, and the 4th Annual Chowdah Challenge.

Documentary chronicles Maine cruising family

An hour-long documentary on a Maine family’s voyage to the Arctic is available on DVD.

Told against the backdrop of dramatic footage shot during their 4- year voyage to Norway, Iceland, Greenland and the Arctic, “Ice Blink” explores the Martin family’s life choices, their cruising beginnings and circumnavigation in a 25-foot sail boat, and their decision to sail to the arctic North. The glimpse into the Martin family shows what can happen with the courage to make life’s choices differently, according to SeaWorthy Productions, which produced the film.

The program is available on DVD for $17.95, plus $5.00 shipping and handling. The companion book, “Into the Light: A Family’s Epic Journey,” is available for $22.95, plus $9.50 shipping and handling. The DVD and book set is available for $35.95, plus $9.50 shipping and handling. To order, visit .