Skip to main content

Web Waypoints

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

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

A fishing boat skipper who scuttled his 80-foot trawler and received a $1.1 million insurance payout confessed to the crime more than a decade later, after finding religion. The 53-year-old man from Pitcaple, Scotland, told a friend at a local

church two years ago about what he had done because he was overcome by guilt, according to a report in the Scotsman newspaper. When the man turned himself in to authorities he said that he and two crewmembers tampered with valves on the trawler, Seaward Quest, causing it to take on water and sink off Shetland, Scotland, in 1994. “I was in a terrible state,” the man reportedly told authorities. “I was bursting into tears and was drinking a bottle of whiskey a day. I was in hell on earth.”

A 7-year-old Ohio girl who won a lobster from a grocery store in September had the crustacean set free off Maine. The girl won the 8-pounder named Bubba in a raffle at a bigg’s grocery store in Cincinnati, the Columbus Dispatch newspaper reported. She was determined to liberate the lobster, so when her family contacted the curator of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, he referred them to a diver in Bar Harbor, Maine. The diver agreed to take the lobster 1,100 miles offshore and set it free. The girl’s family paid $280 to ship Bubba, packed in a foam container, on an airplane from Ohio to Maine.

A Colorado man charged with child abuse in connection with the drowning of his 2-year-old son is in trouble again after crashing his 17-foot Bayliner into another boat on Carter Lake, west of Loveland, Colo. Authorities say the 44-year-old man was intoxicated when the Oct. 7 collision occurred, a report in the Denver Post newspaper says. When police attempted to arrest him, he reportedly was combative and smashed his head against a car window. The man was operating the same boat on the same lake where in July his son slipped from a tube he was being towed on and drowned. Authorities say the man was reckless because the child was too young to be pulled on a tube, the man was traveling too fast (20 to 30 mph), and the child’s PFD was too large.

A pair of recreational anglers in a 15-foot aluminum boat recently reeled in a 190-pound marlin about 20 miles off Dana Point, Calif. Fishing with 20-pound tackle, one of the men fought the fish for nearly two hours before bringing it in the boat, California’s Orange County Register newspaper reported. “I’ve never been scared of gaffing a fish in my life, but I was thinking, If I gaff this thing it’ll probably break my arm,” one of the men says in the report. “But I thought, I’ve got to go for it because I’m never going to get a chance like this again.” The men say the marlin measured about 8 feet.

A British man who says his “vengeful” former wife sank his $170,000 39-foot Princess Flybridge by drilling holes in the hull recently brought a civil claim against the woman for more than $100,000 in damages, according to a report in England’s The Times newspaper. Double Dragon sank in the Brighton (England) Marina on Valentine’s Day 2004, and authorities said that holes were drilled in the hull below the waterline. Police initially charged the woman with criminal damage for drilling the holes and for endangering other boats in the marina. However, the case was thrown out last year due to lack of evidence.

A Florida man says he fought off a shark while he and four friends spent hours in the Atlantic after their small boat capsized in heavy seas 15 miles off Mayport, Fla. The men say they were thrown into the water when two large waves washed over their stern around 11 a.m. Sept. 30, according to a report by Florida’s First Coast News. One of the men stayed with the boat, and the other four attempted to swim for shore. As the sun set the four anglers became separated. One man says he punched a shark in the nose as it swam below him and brushed against his legs. The man who stayed with the boat was rescued by a good Samaritan. Three of the men were rescued by the Coast Guard after spending about 14 hours in the water, and the fifth man was rescued after 18 hours.