March 1 - 1932: USCG Cutter Acushnet sinks Schooner George W. Elzey Jr

1977: 200 mile limit takes effect
The schooner Delawana is similar to the Elzey

1932: Coast Guard attempts to move sunken fishing schooner in Nantucket Sound

Schooner George W. Elzey Jr. in collision with coast guard cutter Acushnet

On this day in 1932, the Coast Guard patrol boats Harriet Lane and Jackson were dispatched to Nantucket Sound to assist the cutter Acushnet in moving a fishing schooner sunk the night before after colliding with the Acushnet.

The accident occurred on the same day as a dramatic rescue of 22 men from a stricken freighter Aggersund 600 miles off Cape Race, Newfoundland, by the crew of the steamer Blankahelm.

"The unfortunate schooner was the George W. Elzey Jr., photo courtesy of the State Library of Queensland. which was in collision with coast guard cutter Acushnet off Cross Rip (see chart on right) lightship last night as the cutter was proceeding to sea and the schooner returned to port," according to an Associated Press account. "No lives were lost in either mishap, and as far as could be learned, no injuries were suffered."

The Elzey sank within 20 minutes of the crash, according to Coast Guard reports cited by the AP, and its four fishermen were rescued by the Acushnet. The cutter remained on the scene to warn other vessels of the sunken schooner by flashing her searchlights, with the stern of the Elzey "slightly above" water.

The Acushnet was unable to pull the Elzey out of the shipping lane and the patrol boats Harriet Lane and Jackson were called to assist.

Cross Rip Shoals are among the many shoals scattered throughout the central part of Nantucket Sound. Cross Rip Shoals are about 14 miles south of Hyannis Harbor and 15 miles northwest of Nantucket Harbor.

(On the right is the USCG Cutter Acushnet. The photo above is not of the Elzey but of a similar fishing schooner Delawana;

1977: 200-mile fishing zone takes effect

Cape Cod one of the areas the Coast Guard focused on

On this day in 1977, a 200-mile territorial fishing zone took effect, with the waters off Cape Cod being one of the two areas where the Coast Guard focused its enforcement efforts.

Coast Guard vessels also patrolled the rich fishing grounds near Kodiak, Alaska, to protect American fishermen from foreign competition.

"Poachers illegally fishing U.S. waters or taking the wrong kind of fish can be seized," United Press International reported.

Foreign vessels were required to obtain permits to fish within 200 miles of the US coastline, while some coastal areas and species of fish were deemed off-limits altogether. The federal government warned other nations that Coast Guard patrol boats would not hesitate to board foreign fishing boats within the 200-mile limit to ensure compliance.

The previous limit had been 12 miles off the coast.

"Atlantic patrols concentrated on an area south of Cape Cod to Norfolk, Va., where foreign ships can take only hake and squid," UPI reported. "In the Pacific, the main effort was off Kodiak, Alaska, where foreigners can take only hake and mackerel."

As of the start of the new limit, 119 ships from 13 nations were in American coastal waters, according to the Coast Guard, while another 122 foreign vessels, all Japanese and Russian, were off Alaska.

"The Soviet Union indicated it will cooperate with the law and Russian ships that did not apply for permits will leave the Pacific area," UPI reported.

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