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News Notes – Long Island Sound

Boat show, warm weather draw browsers to Norwalk

Organizers for the 32nd Norwalk International In-Water Boat Show, held Sept. 20-23 at the Norwalk Cove Marina in East Norwalk, Conn., reported a 22-percent increase in overall attendance and a 13-percent boost in attendance over the three-year average.

The show counted 28,913 attendees through the gates to see the latest in boating and enjoy the unusually warm fall weather.

The free Discover Boating and Sailing rides were a popular feature with 375 people taking boat rides on Long Island Sound, according to organizers.

New boater Catherine Memmo, winner of the 2006 Discover Boating and Take Me Fishing Tour, was awarded $10,000 to spend at the 2007 Norwalk International In-Water Boat Show. Memmo and her husband decided on a new Azure from De Feo’s Marina, and plan to boat with family and friends near their home on the Connecticut River.

“We’ve been thinking of buying a boat for the past two years and this put us over the top,” said Memmo.

Next year’s dates are Sept. 18 to 21.

Roundtable panel urges boater education

Participants in the Sea Tow Services International Boater Education Roundtable discussion held this October in Southold, N.Y., came out with unified goals. The cross-section of marine industry representatives from key business segments established a goal of identifying a way to provide a minimum level of education for every boater and agreed on the need for that education to be mandatory on a state level.

There was a consensus that such a mandate should be based on a phase-in model and be compliant with NASBLA-approved guidelines.

There were, however, differing opinions among the participants as to whether a federal mandate would be the most effective, or perhaps only, way to ensure the states establish these minimum education requirements.

“The central issue is figuring out how to get all of the states to require the minimum level of education for all boaters and then standardizing that education through NASBLA approval,” said Keith Cummings, president of Sea Tow and moderator of the event. “The next step would then be to move for reciprocity between states.”

The group agreed to formalize a Boater Education Steering Committee to lead this education initiative. They also plan to develop a clear, concise message that communicates the need for boater education and identify the proper channels within the boating industry, including existing grant holders, who will help communicate that message to the masses.

Environmental group: best year for Sound

“This is the greatest day for clean water and Long Island Sound in 20 years,” Curt Johnson, program director for Save the Sound, said Sept. 21 on the Connecticut legislature’s allocation of $110 million in general obligation bonds to the state’s Clean Water Fund each year for the next two years.

“Legislative leaders are to be congratulated for getting Connecticut’s clean water investments back on track,” Johnson added. “This $220 million allotment keeps alive a vision of clean rivers, safe waters and a healthy Long Island Sound.”

The Clean Water Fund is the investment mechanism by which the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection directs money toward clean-water projects like upgrades for sewage treatment plants and sewer pipelines.

The federal government and the state of Connecticut set two goals when it promised the state’s citizens clean and healthy water. The agreement was to stop raw sewage overflows into rivers and Long Island Sound by 2020, and to restore the low-oxygen Dead Zone in Long Island Sound by 2014.

Former marine marketing VP dies at age 63

John Alexander Stewart Jr., who retired in 2003 after 23 years with manufacturers’ representative firm Ocean Marketing, died suddenly at his home Oct. 6. He was 63.

“John was my business partner and friend. Even in retirement he continued to be a mentor to so many people in the marine industry. We will all miss him greatly,” says Ocean Marketing CEO John Thommen.

Stewart received his Bachelor of Arts degree from RogerWilliamCollege in Bristol, R.I. He was a yacht broker with Martin Bird & Associates in Annapolis, Md., for five years. From 1980-2003 he was the vice president of Ocean Marketing.

He raced in the Newport-Bermuda race nine times and was the director of Safety at Sea Seminars for 25 years. He was a member of the Annapolis Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of America, Hospice Regatta event chair and the Sailing Club of the Chesapeake.

He is survived by his wife and three sons.

Megayacht docks with art, antiques showcase

A unique 228-foot, three-deck megayacht that serves as a floating art gallery put in at Connecticut and Long Island ports on a 44-week tour.

The recently launched yacht was to visit 36 affluent coastal communities along the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine. The ship will also host an ongoing series of educational lectures, concerts and private functions at each five-day venue.

The first stop was at the Delamar Hotel in GreenwichHarbor Sept. 25. The ship — christened as Grand Luxe, but better known for the large SeaFair signs on each side — is the fourth-largest private yacht in America. SeaFair is the name of the first-of-its-kind venue for an international fine art exposition.

The yacht was opened to collectors, designers and decorators who are invited by SeaFair to view the exhibitions of 26 renowned international art, antique and jewelry dealers.

Subsequent ports visited were Norwalk and Port Washington in New York’s Oyster Bay.

The Grand Luxe, designed by Luis de Basto, is a new type of shallow-draft ship, specifically designed as a mobile exhibition venue. The 3,200-ton ship, with a vertical clearance of 57 feet, requires a draft of only 6-1/2 feet, allowing navigation of the entire Intracoastal Waterway.

First C.G. Auxiliary band makes its debut

The nation’s first Coast Guard Auxiliary marching band made its premiere performance in the annual Cow Harbor Day Parade Sept. 16, down Main Street, in the Village of Northport, N.Y. The marching band, 20-plus members strong, was formed this year as a part of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 22-02 of Northport.

Under the direction of Bob Williams and Brian Donnelly, with drum major Jerry Raymon leading, the band marched to the cheers and applause of hundreds lining the parade route. The band comprises veteran members of Division 22 as well as new members recently recruited.

The marching band was part of a larger contingent of Coast Guard members, including some from Station Eaton’s Neck, who tossed candy to the children in the crowd, and additional Auxiliarists.

Following a short rest after the parade the band gave a concert in NorthportPark and played again at the Northport Firehouse.

Attendance up at Toronto In-Water Show

Canada’s boat show season got off to a good start in Toronto as hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of consumers turned out for the ninth annual Toronto In-Water Boat Show. Total attendance for this year’s event was up nearly 7 percent over the 2006 show, according to organizers, with 10,796 people on hand to check out the latest boats, gear and accessories.

More than 250 new power- and sailboats were displayed at the show, which ran Sept. 13 to 16 at Ontario Place in Toronto. The show featured a tent-lined shorefront showcasing boats and accessories, in addition to its in-water portion.

The DiscoverBoatingCenter continues as one of the Toronto show’s most popular attractions, offering free boat rides to those interested in learning about the boating lifestyle and experiencing the joys of being out on the water. This year’s DiscoverBoatingCenter featured seven demo boats, both power and sail, and provided showgoers with a total of 450 free boat rides.

Next year, the Toronto In-Water Boat Show will take place Sept. 11 to 14.

Baykeeper becomes independent nonprofit

After 18 years as part of the American Littoral Society, New York/New Jersey Baykeeper — guardians of the most famous harbor in the world — recently announced that it has become an independent non-profit organization.

NY/NJ Baykeeper’s reorganization as an independent non-profit was finalized July 15, and will allow the organization to more clearly define its mission and purpose. Baykeepers independence will also help streamline administration and fundraising procedures, according to the group.

Baykeeper, which will continue to work closely with ALS on a variety of waterfront issues, remains an active member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a grassroots advocacy program of more than 150 waterkeeper programs worldwide.

NY/NJ Baykeeper was formed in 1989 by Baykeeper Andy Willner, a former boatbuilder and city planner, to protect the waters of the Hudson-Raritan Estuary, which includes more than 650 miles of shoreline divided between urban New Jersey and New York City.

Marine insurance agency adds to yacht coverage

Maritime General Agency of Westbrook, Conn., has released a new policy form for their AIG Executive Yacht Policy. The new form, which is for private pleasure yachts valued between $1 million and $5 million, adds coverage not previously included, such as additional living expenses, fine arts, temporary substitute yacht, search and rescue fees, loss of charter hire, newly acquire yachts, precautionary measures and moped/motorbike coverage.

Coverage by Maritime General Agency is written through New Hampshire Insurance Company and other AIG member companies.

Fatal capsize on L.I. Sound

What should have been a fun day of fishing turned deadly — but how and why is still a mystery.

Arthur Turner, 48, and Irina Sheyner, 44 of West Hartford, Conn., had gone out on a fishing trip to an area known as Six Mile Reef in their 19-foot 1991 Midland cuddy cabin with a small pilothouse from Clinton Harbor around 9:30 a.m. Oct. 16, according to a Coast Guard press release. As of 3 p.m. that day they were fishing, according to a local witness.

However, at 1:15 a.m. the next day, Sheyner’s husband contacted the Clinton Police Department to report his wife missing. The police drove out to the ClintonHarbor and found the vehicle they drove parked next to where the boat is kept. From there, Coast Guard rescue crews from New Haven and New London were dispatched.

At about 5:30 a.m., the boat, which was powered by a 50-hp Honda 4-stroke outboard, was found anchored but capsized south of ClintonHarbor in Long Island Sound, according to the release.

Searchers included local search authorities, a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Atlantic City, N.J., and a HU-25C Falcon jet from Air Station Cape Cod, Mass.

A Coast Guard helo crew from Atlantic City, N.J., found the body of Sheyner in a life jacket at 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 about four miles south of the overturned vessel, where she was transferred to a Coast Guard New Haven 41-foot rescue boat that brought her to shore, according to the news release.

The search for Turner was suspended at 1:30 p.m. the next day after 75 hours of searching using 25 boats, planes, and helicopters that combed the area of Long Island Sound from Branford, Conn., to the North Shore of Long Island.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of both Mr. Turner and Ms. Sheyner,” said Captain Daniel Ronan, Commander Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound in the news release. “Calling off a search is an extremely difficult decision and is one that is never taken lightly or made in haste. In this case, we searched well beyond predicted survival times with the hopes of finding Mr. Turner.”

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has taken the lead on the investigation of what could have made the anchored flat-bottomed boat roll over.

“We’re looking it all over to see what could have possibly gone wrong,” said DEP Spokesperson Rachael Sunny told Soundings. “They were about three miles offshore and anchored in 25 feet of water. It might take weeks for us to come to a conclusion.”

— Elizabeth Ellis

Sea chanteys on Long Island

Alan Short, a popular performer ofa capella ballads and folk songs from the American and British Isles, including songs from the Golden Age of whaling, is returning to The Whaling Museum in ColdSpringHarbor.

The performance is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for seniors and students, or free to museum members.

For information call the museum at (631) 367-3418 or visit