March 19 - 1972: Jumbo oil tanker adrift 50 miles off Cape Cod

1895: Crew of the Schooner B.H. Jones saved by the Gypsum Prince. 2007: Ghosts in the thicket, tuna catch falls
In 1972, a tug towed the Texaco Pembroke back to Boston, taking 15 hours to make the 100-mile journey. (The photo is not of the Texaco Pembroke, but of a similar tanker, the Texaco Hamburg; photo credit, http://www.shawsavillships.co.uk)

1972: The 790-foot vessel with its crew of 51 was adrift 50 miles east of here

A tug took 15 hours towing the tanker back to Boston

On this day in 1972, the jumbo oil tanker Texaco Pembroke was towed to Boston after it lost engine power and became adrift 50 miles east of Cape Cod.

The 790-foot vessel with its crew of 51 sent out a distress call saying it lost power for reasons unknown and was in danger of drifting onto Cultivator Shoals 25 miles away, according to an Associated Press story.

The Coast Guard dispatched the cutter Vigilant and a helicopter to the tanker.

The Texaco Pembroke was not carrying cargo but had taken on water as ballast, according to the AP. It was bound for the Persian Gulf to pick up a cargo of oil.

A tug towed the tanker back to Boston, taking 15 hours to make the 100-mile journey.

1895: Gallant rescue at sea

Crew of the Schooner B.H. Jones saved by the Gypsum Prince after a fierce battle with the waves

On this day in 1895 newspapers across America carried the story of a dramatic rescue off Cape Cod. The stories said:

PROVINCETOWN, Mass., March 19. The British schooner Gypsum Prince has arrived here with the crew of the schooner B.H. Jones of Thomaston, Me., from New-York for Portland, Capt. L.S. Whittemore. Below is a reprint of one of the stories.

2007: Cape fishermen hit by diminishing catches of prized bluefin tuna

The dark red meat is one of the most expensive fish dishes in the world

On this day in 2007 Cape fishermen are pulling in diminishing numbers of the prized Atlantic bluefin tuna, exposing their families to financial hardships and concern over the future of the industry in the region.

Bluefin tuna's dark red meat produces some of the most expensive fish dishes in the world. The species is one of the largest bony fishes and can reach lengths of up to 9.8 feet. Adult weights range from 300-1,500 pounds.

More than 5,000 commercial fishermen along the Atlantic coastline pursue them each year as they migrate north in the summer and south in the fall. They are typically seen in New England waters from June to November.

Art courtesy of Wikipedia.

2007: Ghosts in the thickets threatened by extinction

New England cottontail in the cross hairs of a heated debate

The Bush White House has protected the fewest species of any administration since the Endangered Species Act became law in 1973. That puts the fast-disappearing New England cottontail in the cross hairs of a heated debate.

On this day in 2007 it was reported that the New England cottontails are archetypal Yankees. For centuries, they thrived in all six New England states and, except for a sliver of New York, nowhere else.

They maintain low profiles, scratch their livings out of marginal habitats, and are a bit fussy. Though they’ve got the extraordinarily productive reproductive tracts typical of rabbits – a female can bear up to 24 young a year – New England cottontails are not breeding like rabbits.

In fact, their populations have plummeted in recent years.

The New England cottontail may be the only animal with a native range so nearly restricted to New England; they once thrived from the Hudson River to Cape Cod, from Lake Champlain to Penobscot Bay. They are thicket specialists.

Their ideal habitat is a clearing that’s been growing for five to 20 years or naturally occurring shrub-land.


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