February 12 - 1935: The day the deer hunt ended

2007: Fishing boat Creole Belle abandoned; 2007: WHOI's Ledwell awarded Agassiz Medal; 1984: Cape Codders aboard hijacked plane from Haiti to New York
Although the crew was rescued days before, the Creole Belle was still adrift 65 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket on this day in 2007. USCG Photo.

1935: Islanders praise Governor for halting hunting on Nantucket

James Curley finally does something Republican like

On this day in 1935 as reported by the Fitchburg Sentinel under the headline, "Deerslaying on Nantucket Halted Today" -

NANTUCKET, Feb. 12 - Hunters' guns, which have re-echoed throughout this quiet island since daybreak yesterday in what Nantucketers described as the slaughter of tame deer, were silenced by gubernatorial edict at noon today and the tabulation of the slain herd was begun by game wardens.

Indignant islanders, whose aroused protest at the declaration of a week's open season on deer brought immediate response from Gov. James M. Curley last night (on right), showered the chief executive with congratulations and had little sympathy for the gunners from the mainland who, ruffled at the sudden closing, were forced to remain until tomorrow for a boat to take them from the island.

The toll taken among the herd estimated to total 350 was not known, but some placed it at approximately 100. Most of the deer killed were taken by the hunters, but it was believed many of the timid animals which escaped with their lives had been maimed by gunshot. The islanders were distressed particularly because most of the deer slain were does with young.

The first deer brought to the island more than 12 years ago had increased rapidly in number and complaints of damage by the growing herd caused the declaring of an open season.

2007: Coast Guard marks drifting Creole Belle

12 to 14-foot seas and 30-knot winds prevented towing

The fishing vessel Creole Belle, whose crew was airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter Thursday evening, remains disabled and adrift about 65 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket, Friday evening.

An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod deployed a Self-Locating Datum Marker Buoy (SLDMB) about 10:20 a.m. today. The buoy is attached to the Creole Belle and transmits its location via satellite to the Coast Guard.  Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England continues to issue a Safety Marine Information Broadcast alerting mariners operating in the vicinity of the Creole Belle.

Initially the Campbell was going to tow the Creole Belle towards Martha’s Vineyard . However, 12 to 14-foot seas and 30-knot winds prevented Campbell from safely taking the vessel in tow.  The Coast Guard is working with the vessel owners to determine their intentions.

A Coast Guard helicopter arrived on scene with the Creole Belle about 7:45 p.m. Thursday night to hoist the three crewmen (scren shot of rescue from USCG video on right), George Bemaranbille of East Freetown, Mass., Michael O'Neil of Little Compton, R.I., and Kevin Mello, as well as two Coast Guardsmen from the Campbell who were injured while attempting to pass a towline.

The helicopter crew was unable to safely hoist the Creole Belle crewmen from their vessel, so they instructed the crewmen, who were wearing survival suits, to enter the water, one person at a time, upon the helicopter’s signal. Coast Guard rescue swimmer Petty Officer 2nd Class Chuck Ferrante entered the water from the helicopter and assisted each Creole Belle crewman into the basket to be hoisted by the helicopter. Ferrante repeated this process until all three crewmen were safely inside the helicopter.

“It was challenging because a big wave would come and the basket would drop 10-feet or so,” said Ferrante. 

2007: Jim Ledwell awarded Agassiz Medal by National Academy of Sciences

Senior scientist wins for chemical tracers to observe ocean currents

ledwellmedal_01Oceanographer Jim Ledwell of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has been selected as the winner of the 2007 Alexander Agassiz Medal, awarded by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Ledwell, a senior scientist in the Department of Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering, specializes in the use of chemical tracers to observe currents in the ocean.

Established in 1913, the Agassiz Medal is awarded every three years to an individual scientist for original and fundamental contributions to oceanography. The medal and prize of $15,000 will be officially presented to Ledwell at an April 29 ceremony in Washington, DC.

Ledwell was specifically cited by the Academy for his "innovative and insightful tracer experiments using sulfur hexafluoride to understand vertical diffusivity and turbulent mixing in the open ocean." To measure the mixing and stirring effects of eddies and internal waves, Ledwell “marks” parcels of water by releasing harmless dyes or chemicals from ships and then measures the subsequent dispersion (sometimes for several years). Such work aids oceanographers in understanding the circulation of the ocean and the transport of nutrients, plankton, and pollutants in ocean ecosystems-- all of which are important to marine life and to the ocean’s role in climate change.

Ledwell and colleagues, including Andrew Watson of the University of East Anglia (England), developed the techniques in the basins off Southern California in the 1980s, with advice and encouragement from Wallace Broecker of Columbia University. Over the past two decades, Ledwell has played a leading role in tracer release experiments in the North Atlantic thermocline, in the deep Brazil Basin, on the continental shelf off New England, in the upper layers of the Sargasso Sea, and, most recently, in the area of hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise southwest of Mexico.

Past WHOI recipients of the Agassiz Medal include Henry Bigelow, Columbus Iselin, Alfred Redfield, Fritz Fuglister, John Steele, and Henry Stommel.

1984: Cape Codders aboard hijacked airliners

A man with a submachine gun hijacked a flight from Haiti to Kennedy Airport in New York on February 12, 1984. There were 152 people aboard the flight, including three from Cape Cod. One of the three was Walter Brooks, editor of CapeCodToday.com and founder and publisher of Best Read Guide. Mr. Brooks and his wife Patricia were seated on the airliner when the gunman, 33-year-old Jean Phillippe Windsor came aboard just prior to take-off. Windsor, according to the New York Times, surrended his weapon midway through the tense flight, requesting political asylum. 

Read the story in the New York Times archives here.

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