Web Waypoints - Soundings Online

Web Waypoints

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

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

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Message in a bottle: You’re a litterbug

A British man who recently discovered a note in a plastic bottle that floated more than 3,000 miles across the Atlantic sent a nasty return letter to the American who set it adrift. In the letter, Henry Biggelsworth of Bournemouth, England,

accused Coast Guard Capt. Harvey Bennett, the man who launched the bottle, of littering, the London Telegraph newspaper reported. Bennett had put the bottle into the ocean last August near his home on New York’s Long Island. Bennett’s response to Biggelsworth’s stern words: “My first thought was that the guy needed to get a life,” he says in the Telegraph. “I couldn’t believe it.”

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A 41-year-old man in March plans to cross the Atlantic from Senegal on Africa’s west coast to New York City in a home-built 24-foot plywood rowing boat to raise awareness about AIDS prevention. Victor Mooney finished his red-and-white boat in a garage in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Boston Globe reported. “I wanted to leave from Africa because this is the center of the AIDS crisis,” Mooney says in the newspaper. Mooney also hopes to raise $1 million, and has signed such sponsors as Snapple Beverage Company and New England Ropes of Fall River, Mass. West Marine donated radios, fittings and other electronics.

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The parents of a 10-year-old boy who died on Lake Michigan last August reportedly filed separate lawsuits in federal court earlier this year against the estate of an Illinois boater. Phyllis Emmerling, the boy’s mother, filed a $5 million lawsuit against the estate of her late fiancé, John Semkus, claiming he negligently invited her and her two sons to swim alongside his 22-foot Maxum while anchored about four miles from shore. The suit also claims that Semkus should have recognized a current running away from the boat, and should have weighed anchor and motored to the swimmers when he noticed them drifting away, rather than diving into the 65-degree water to help. Semkus drowned, and the boy, David Emmerling, died of hypothermia after his family reportedly swam for nearly nine hours to shore. The boy’s father, David Emmerling, also filed a lawsuit in federal court. His lawyer declined to comment on the details of the lawsuit.

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A 59-year-old California man clung to a balloon, driftwood and finally to a buoy after falling from his boat near Los Angeles in January. Craig McCabe said he was thrown from his 50-foot powerboat, Heather, when it hit a swell, the Associated Press reported. The boat was discovered hours before McCabe was rescued by the Coast Guard. The crewless boat had run aground on Catalina Island about 26 miles from where McCabe was found. The discovery of the boat prompted the search, which included a Coast Guard airplane, two helicopters, a 41-foot boat, and four Los AngelesCounty lifeguard boats. After spending 5-1/2 hours in the water McCabe was rescued by his brother, Lance.