News Notes - Long Island Sound March 2007

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Conn. boating accident victim identified

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection reports the victim of a Jan. 7 boating accident on TwinLakes in Salisbury was Zdzislaw Skorski, 52, of New Britain.

Skorski was pronounced dead at SharonHospital after the boat he was fishing in capsized at around 10:15 a.m. Skorski was fishing with two other men, who were treated at SharonHospital. The two were his brother, Antoni Skorski, 54, and his brother’s son Christopher Skorski, 22, both of New Britain.

DEP’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police say they received a call about the capsized boat on TwinLakes at around 10:20 a.m.Salisbury volunteer firefighters and state police also responded to the call. The Salisbury fire department reached the three men in a rescue boat and pulled them from the water, where they were hanging onto their overturned 12-foot fiberglass boat.

The Salisbury firefighters immediately began attempting to revive the victim, who was unresponsive when pulled from the water.

The three men were apparently fishing for about three hours when the accident occurred. The boat appeared to be about 30 feet from shore when it capsized. A resident along the lake heard the shouts of the men and called 911.

DEP’s EnCon Police are investigating the accident.

Conn. boating safetyregulations take effect

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection announced that new regulations regarding boating safety — recently approved by the Legislative Regulation Review Committee — went into effect Jan. 3. The highlights of the new boating safety regulations include:

• On the HousatonicRiver, two speed zones were combined to create a Slow-No-Wake zone between the area bounded northerly by the DevonRailroadBridge between Milford and Stratford and bounded southerly by navigation aid No. 14.

• All persons aboard any manually propelled vessel are now required to wear life jackets from Oct. 1 to May 31. Previously, the requirement to wear life jackets only applied to people aboard canoes. Now, kayakers and people in rowboats must comply with this requirement as well. In addition, the operator, owner or user of the manually propelled vessel is responsible for prohibiting any person to be aboard the vessel who is not wearing a life jacket, unless the person is aboard a racing vessel that is either accompanied by an escort vessel or involved in a race in which the Commissioner has approved race organizers’ steps to provide for the safety of race participants.

• Fishing is now prohibited inside a swim area authorized by the Commissioner.

•On West Hill Pond in New Hartford and Barkhamsted, the use of boats equipped with motors with a total power greater than 8 hp is prohibited from Memorial Day through Sept. 15. Previously, the use of motorboats equipped with motors with a total power greater than 7-1/2 hp was prohibited. In addition, the 15-mph daytime speed limit and the 6-mph speed limit between sunset and sunrise are now applicable year-round. These speed limits were previously only applicable from June 15 through Labor Day. Finally, water skiing is now prohibited on West Hill Pond.

MysticRiver Yacht Club wraps up Frostbite Series

The Mystic River Yacht Club finished its fifth Frostbite Series, managing to get in seven out of eight regattas due to unseasonable mild weather conditions. In all there were 43 races in wind conditions that ranged from 4 to 24 knots, sailing from October until December.

Fourteen entries made for some tight-quarter racing and some interesting mark roundings. The format was primarily windward-leeward courses with an occasional wing mark thrown in for good measure. Every once in a while the race committee would start the fleet downwind, which thrilled half the fleet and confounded the other.

The fleet is diverse, with the Stonington High School Sailing Team bringing three teams. In addition, there were four father-and-son or father-and-daughter teams, and two husband-and-wife teams.

Overall, at the end of the entire Fall Series it was the husband-and-wife team from the Ram Island Yacht Club, Michael and Kim Payne, scoring 174 points for third place. In second place was the father-and-son team from the Conanicut Yacht Club, Ted and Andrew Corning with 83 points. And in first place with 72 points and 19 bullets was Woody and Ann Bergendahl from the Ram Island Yacht Club.

The Mystic River Yacht Club will host its Third Annual Spring Series starting April 1. www.mysticriveryachtclub.com

Pipeline across Sound is denied again

The state Department of Environmental Protection has again denied approval of a certificate needed for the construction of a natural gas pipeline across Long Island Sound.

After conducting a court-ordered review of its 2004 rejection of a request for a certificate for the Islander East pipeline, DEP again concluded that the proposed route would damage water quality, fragile natural resources and prime shellfish beds for clams and oysters.

“This agency is not opposed to the construction of a natural gas pipeline across Long Island Sound,” commented DEP Commissioner Gina McCarthy. “Islander East just insists on putting it in the wrong place. We can clearly strike a better balance than this between obtaining the energy we need and protecting the quality of our environment.”

The proposed route runs along the ThimbleIslands, which McCarthy calls, “some of its most fragile and sensitive areas” in the Sound.

DEP informed the Islander East Company LLC today that it was denying a Water Quality Certificate for the project under the state’s federally approved Water Quality Standards, which establish criteria for protection of water quality, resources and habitats under section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act.

The full text of DEP’s 80-plus-page decision on the Islander East’s application for a Water Quality Certificate can be found at www.dep.state.ct.us/olisp .

N.Y. boat rental Web site expands

Brookhaven, N.Y.-based www.boatrenting.com , which features online bookings of discounted short-term boat rentals, has added two locations in Croatia (its first in Europe) and three more locations in Florida to its rental fleet.

Boat rental locations list their available boats free on the site and pay a small commission to the company on bookings. To increase potential turnover for rental operators (especially in slow season), the new service allows each location to self-update their boat availability, live online reservations and edit listings at any time.

For information about the service, visit the Web site or call (631) 286-7816.

Poker run set for return to Manhattan

The New York City Powerboat Poker Run 2007 is scheduled to throttle up at noon June 16.

The annual event on the Hudson River will feature more than 175 performance powerboat and sport cruisers in what has grown to be one of the largest such event in the country. The fleet will include boats from Outerlimits, Fountain, Mercury Racing, Cigarette, Formula, MTI, Chief, Sutphen, Eliminator, Sonic, Ilmor Engines, Hustler, Activator, Sea Ray, Baja, Nordic, Force, Phantom, Velocity, Sunseeker, Nor-Tech and Black Thunder.

The National Powerboat Association organizes the event, staged out of Liberty Landing Marina in LibertyState Park, in Jersey City, N.J., with views of Lower Manhattan’s Financial District, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

Boaters will parade north on the Hudson River until the official start at the GeorgeWashingtonBridge. There is a five-hour limit to complete the breath-taking 75-mile course. The event will consist of three waves of participants: The 100+ mph Club; The Speedboat Club; The Sportboat Club and Historic Offshore Raceboats.

Entry Fee: $600 (reduced from $700 in 2006)

For information call: (203) 532-1312 or e-mail: billy@nationalpowerboat.com .

Mystic Seaport host author lecture series

Bestselling author and seven-time Emmy award winner Martin W. Sandler kicks off the Maritime Authors Series at Mystic Seaport Feb. 7.

The series runs once a month from February to May and takes place at the Museum’s G.W. Blunt White Library. Tickets are $45 ($35 members) for the series and $12 ($10 members) for individual programs.

The evening begins with a wine and cheese reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the author’s talk at 6 p.m. The program concludes with a question-and- answer session and a chance for guests to win a free copy of the author’s book.

Speakers are:

Feb. 7 – Martin W. Sandler will discuss his book, “Resolute: The Epic Search for the Northwest Passage and John Franklin, and the Discovery of the Queen’s Ghost Ship.”

March 21 – Tim and Pauline Carr discuss their book, “Antarctic Oasis: Under the Spell of South Georgia,” which highlights photographs of the remote island taken by Cruising Club sailors.

April 25 – Margaret Andersen Rosenfeld speaks of her book, “On Land and on Sea: Women in the Rosenfeld Collection.”

May 9 – Nathaniel Philbrick discusses his book, “Mayflower: A story of Courage, Community, and War.”

To purchase tickets or for more information, call (860) 572-5339.

In other news, Mystic Seaport has named Robert L. Potter its new vice president of marketing and communications. He started Jan. 2, 2007.

Potter will oversee the Museum’s key marketing and communication efforts supporting year-round visitor exhibitions, membership programs, business operations and educational initiatives.

Nova Scotia builders start a boat show

The Nova Scotia In-Water Boat Show will debut Aug. 2 to 5 in conjunction with Mahone Bay’s 18th annual Classic Boat Festival.

Potential customers will have a chance to climb aboard boats from several Nova Scotia yards and talk directly to the builders during a popular festival in a picturesque seaside town at the height of Nova Scotia’s tourist season.

In recent years Nova Scotia builders have diversified from commercial boat production to break into international markets for power and sail pleasure boats and for research and patrol vessels.

The new In-Water Show is presented by the Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association, which represents nearly all the full-time boatyards in the province. “[The show] is a chance for builders to show their boats to the market at minimal cost, in their own backyard. It’s the ideal showcase,” said NSBA executive director Tim Edwards, P. Eng., MRINA.

The Nova Scotia Boatbuilders Association was formed by the province’s full-time boatyards in 1998 to foster training, provide technical advice, serve as a point of contact for the market and to speak to government with one voice.

Fractional ownership club adds Wally Yachts

Barton & Gray Mariners Club in Boston has complemented its fleet of Hinckley Jet Boats with WallyPower 47s and WallyPower 70s for both Luxury Runabout and General Mariner Membership types.

Wally, headquartered in the Principality of Monaco has been building sailing and power yachts for more than a decade. Sandy Spaulding, president of Barton & Gray commented, “Wally’s appreciation for design, quality, and fun make their yachts a perfect addition to the Barton & Gray Mariners Club Fleet.”

Barton & Gray Mariners Club is accepting reservations for partial ownership of both the 47- and 70-foot WallyPower for all markets served by the Mariners Club. Call (866) 726-3555 to learn more. www.bartonandgray.com ; www.wally.com.

Soundings partners with Newport boat shows

Soundings magazine is partnering with the Newport Spring Boat Show and the Newport International Boat Show to publish event directories for the two events.

The boat show guides will contain a site map, boating articles and photos, as well as lists of companies exhibiting boats and marine products.

The Newport Spring Boat Show, which will run June 15 to 17 at Newport Yachting Center in Newport, R.I., showcases previously owned boats and yachts.

The Newport International Boat Show, Sept. 13 to 16, features new sailboats and powerboats, plus thousands of products and services. The fall show will take place at the Newport Yachting Center and several other sites on the waterfront.

“Any opportunity to work with these stellar boating events and the fantastic people at Newport Exhibition Group, we welcome,” says Peter K. Mitchel, general manager of Soundings Publications.

Based in Essex, Conn., Soundings also publishes the official boating guides for the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s boat shows — more than 20 shows across the country. The company also publishes Soundings Trade Only magazine.

Foundation receives Spirit of Hope award

Coast Guard Commandant, Admiral Thad W. Allen, has awarded the Coast Guard Foundation the 2005 Spirit of Hope Award from the Bob Hope Foundation.

“To have the foundation’s commitment to the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard acknowledged in this way is truly an honor,” says Ross Roeder, chairman.

Established by Bob Hope in 1996, the award is given to the heads of the five armed forces, with the request that they use it to recognize an individual or organization that provides distinguished service to its members. Prior recipients through various branches of the military include Senator John Glenn, Walter Cronkite, President George H.W. Bush and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. In addition to receiving a medal, recipients are recognized on a wall of honor in the Pentagon.

The Coast Guard Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard and its Academy. The foundation funds academic and athletic excellence at the Coast Guard Academy, provides scholarships to the children of enlisted personnel and educational grants to Coasties pursuing college degrees, and builds training and education facilities across the country. www.cgfdn.org