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News Notes New England - January


The annual show in Newport, R.I., again drew both powerboaters and sailors to the downtown docks and for many in the region, signals the end of another boating season. Organizers for the mid-September show reported 10 percent increase in attendance.

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Crew receives award for rescue at sea

Four members of Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 65 in Woods Hole, Mass., received the 2009 Association For Rescue At Sea silver medal during a Sept. 30 ceremony in Washington, D.C., for their rescue of three people while on patrol in Buzzards Bay.

Coast Guard Auxiliarists Paul Sadeck, Leo Lake, Robert M. Joseph and Rodney Thomas were on patrol in Buzzards Bay aboard the Auxiliary vessel Amy Julie on August 26, 2009, when they came upon a swamped fishing vessel with two people aboard and one unaccounted victim.

The crew assessed the risks and devised a plan to rescue the two persons and search for the still-missing victim, despite operating in 5-foot seas and 25-knot winds. After several failed attempts to come alongside the swamped vessel in the rolling seas, the Amy Julie crew threw life rings to the two men and swiftly pulled them to the boat.

After listening to the rescued person's accounts of the incident, the crew recognized the potential location of the third person and headed southwest toward Bents Ledge buoy in Buzzards Bay. Displaying skill and determination in the face of challenging weather and sea conditions, the crew of the Amy Julie saw a third person through the sea spray and brought him safely aboard.

The crew quickly returned to port, where Fairhaven emergency response officials were waiting to render medical assistance.

Small boat show big on local builders

The fifth annual Boatbuilders' Show on Cape Cod, which organizers tout as "the best little boat show in the Northeast," returns Feb. 11-13 to the Resort and Conference Center at Hyannis.

Craftsmanship and unique design are what draw people to the Boatbuilders' Show on Cape Cod.

During the show's four-year run, more than 10,000 people have attended the collection of locally built custom and limited-production wood and fiberglass boats. More than 40 exhibitors displaying powerboats and sailboats will be under one roof at this year's show.

"Buyers looking for the kind of craftsmanship and unique design usually found only on limited-production boats have few opportunities to go on board and compare workmanship and features," says Scott Dayton, one of the show's organizers. "Very much like the Maine Boatbuilders' Show ... this is an opportunity for smaller builders to show off their craft in a larger venue, some for the first time outside of their own shops."

Show hours are 2-7 p.m. Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 12, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13. Admission is $5, with children under 12 free. Parking is free.

Trawler passagemaking course offered

The southbound migration of boats is about to start on the East Coast and Sea Sense is introducing weeklong passagemaking courses aboard trawlers this fall. The new courses are an opportunity to learn in a real passagemaking environment with professional captains. Classes will be open to couples as well as individuals.

"We have met many boaters who, for one reason or another, have not yet gone out of the inlet or overnight. This course will give them the knowledge and confidence to take that next step," says Capt. Carol Cuddyer, co-founder of Sea Sense.

During the weeklong course, participants will learn boat handling in the Intracoastal Waterway, the strategy of running inlets, offshore safety and equipment, filing of float plans and preparation of boat and crew for extended cruising. There will be instruction in day and night navigation, log keeping, watchstanding, weather, fuel management, ship identification, and rules of the road. This course will actively involve the participants in the decision-making process for a long cruise, including how to plan for and deal with potential problems. All offshore legs depend on weather.

The professional captains at Sea Sense have taught and sailed extensively up and down the East Coast, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Labrador, Bermuda, Mexico and a Transatlantic crossing aboard trawlers.

Class size is limited. The cost for the seven-day course is $3,195 and includes instruction, on-board accommodations, all docking and fuel costs and most meals.

Mystic Seaport hosting Adventure Series

Winning Olympic gold in sailing, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and surfing gigantic waves are some of the journeys visitors can experience in the ongoing 2010-2011 Adventure Series at Mystic Seaport Museum.

The Adventure Series has been hosted by the museum for more than 60 years and provides a unique opportunity for attendees to meet adventurers firsthand and experience a wide array of challenges - on the sea, in the air and on land all over the world.

The series runs once a month from October through April. Each presenter will speak at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. in the River Room at Latitude 41°. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (860) 572-5322.

Speakers and presentations include:

Dec. 16 - National Geographic photographer and Newport, R.I., native, Alexander "Sandy" Nesbitt will present "From Orphanage to Mountaintop," a visual documentation of his travels through Kenya and up Mount Kilimanjaro in support of Nairobi's orphanages.

Jan. 20 - Seattle pilots Mark Schoening and Doug DeVries will present "The Great Arctic Air Adventure," a detailed account of their attempt to circumnavigate Canada via the famed Northwest Passage. The pilots will share observations from the sky - including mosaics of lakes and rolling tundra - and from the land where they set up camp.

Feb. 17 - Anna Tunnicliffe, the gold-medal winner in the women's Laser Radial dinghy races at the 2008 Olympic Games in China, will present "Racing for Top Honors," and will share her experience in becoming the first woman in 20 years to bring home sailing gold.

March 17 - Underwater photographer Tim Calver will present "Photography Deep Down," showing some of his stunning images and discussing how he gets his camera as close as possible to his subjects - whether they are sharks or humans.

April 21 - Award-winning photographer Frank Quirarte will present "Big Wave Surfing," detailing his adventures in surfing and photographing the giant waves in California's Half Moon Bay. Quirarte will also share how in an emergency he drops his camera, goes into the impact zone on his personal watercraft and helps pull surfers to safety.

Boston fire department launches new RIB

Ribcraft, the Marblehead, Mass.-based manufacturer of professional grade rigid inflatable boats for law enforcement, safety professionals, and military agencies, announced the delivery of a specialized 30-foot Ribcraft 9.0 dive boat to the Boston Fire Department.

A new rescue boat will be patrolling the waters of Boston Harbor.

The RIB was delivered to the Boston Fire Department's rescue dive team for search-and-rescue operations and is capable of supporting 10 divers plus crew.

It features a partially enclosed pilothouse with extended aluminum top, a drop-down canvas enclosure for all weather protection, a large open aft deck, integrated dive ladder with platform and secure storage for more than 12 dive tanks.

The RIB features a reinforced vinylester hull and a heavy duty hypalon tube with multiple air chambers, pressure relief valves, high-profile rubstrake, and tube reinforcing. It is equipped with twin 225-hp Evinrude E-TEC outboard engines capable of reaching speeds in excess of 50 mph.

Drunken sailor winds up in hot water

The Maryland Natural Resources Police charged a 41-year-old man in September with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, hindering and obstructing a police officer, failing to comply with a lawful order, operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol, operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol and attempting to elude a police officer.

Police received a call at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 27 about an overturned sailboat with a person clinging to the side of the boat in the South River. Police, Coast Guard and the Anne Arundel County fireboat responded to the scene to locate and assist the overturned boat and, once on the scene, the responding units found the man on the 25-foot sailboat. Authorities say he became belligerent and appeared intoxicated as rescue units attempted to check on his welfare and condition.

The sailor tried to ram the Anne Arundel County fireboat three times with his sailboat. He then ignored repeated calls and orders by police and Coast Guard officers to stop his vessel.

Not giving up, the sailor continued to flee and evade officers by refusing to drop his sails, while maneuvering his boat back and forth to prevent boarding. Eventually, the sailboat was boarded by officers while under way.

Once aboard, the sailor struggled with officers and resisted arrest. After he was subdued, he was taken ashore, where he failed sobriety field tests and an alcohol breath test.

The sailor is due in court Dec. 17 in Maryland District Court in Annapolis.

This article originally appeared in the New England Home Waters section of the January 2011 issue.