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These stories and others appear daily on www.soundingsonline.com, which also contains a searchable archive of past Soundings stories.

Fishing prank leaves no leg to stand on

It may have seemed funny at the time, but a commercial fisherman’s stab at dark humor had the Canadian Coast Guard thinking it was dealing with a fatal shark attack.

When a shark was caught and hauled on the deck of a fishing boat out of Nova Scotia, someone on board inserted his artificial leg into the shark’s mouth, according to Halifax’s The Chronicle Herald newspaper. While those on board had a laugh, the crew of a nearby fishing boat apparently was under the impression that the leg was real and relayed a report to the Coast Guard, which dispatched a boat crew to make the seven-hour trip to the fishing boat. Investigators said they were glad the report turned out to be a joke. “That was the first time [we ’ve] had something so bizarre transpiring,” a Coast Guard investigator said.

A California man fishing from a kayak with a group came face to face with a shark off San Mateo that reportedly bit the bow of his kayak and tossed him into the water. “When he came up, he thought he had been hit by a boat,” another member of NorCal Kayak Anglers told the San Francisco Chronicle. “But when he looked, the shark was still on the front of his kayak, latched on, gnawing.” The man, who was uninjured, climbed back into his kayak, and the shark released it shortly thereafter.

Louis Vuitton, the French luxury fashion and leather goods company and sponsor of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination series since 1983, will not financially support the next America’s Cup competition. The multimillion-dollar decision apparently stems from disagreement over the direction the Cup holder, the Swiss Alinghi syndicate, is steering international sports’ oldest competition. A spokesman for America’s Cup Management says the search for a new sponsor is under way.

A musician heading home from a nighttime gig aboard his 25-foot Bayliner found himself and three passengers in the water when his propeller became fouled in a net and the boat sank. The skipper reportedly told local media they were unable to cut the net free before it pulled the stern down into choppy waters that eventually swamped the boat. A Coast Guard crew rescued the four, who were wearing life jackets. The man, who said his boat was equipped with GPS and that he was unfamiliar with the waters in that area, suggested that if his boat couldn’t be salvaged he would buy another, bigger vessel.