Subject: Case Study: Possible Cause of Manatee Die-off! (fwd)

Michael Williamson (pita@whale.simmons.edu)
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 14:09:47 -0500 (EST)

This is for discussion.  We know nothing of the Mody dick Society that 
submitted this article so keep this in mind when reviewing this material.
This may be a topic for a student study.
What is the Moby Dick Society?
How accurate is this information?
What should you do to verify its accuracy?
Should you believe everything that you read?

Be critical and be sure!!
Mike Williamson



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 07:26:50 -0800
From: David Williams <davidmds@ix.netcom.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
Subject: Possible Cause of Manatee Die-off!

(Urgent request: If anyone knows any member of the team investigating
the manatee die-off, please inform them of the sinking of this vessel.)

In reference to the many questions I received about the possible
relation between the vessel which sunk off the West Coast of Florida on
6 January and the recent manatee die-off.

The Moby Dick Society does not know if Florida authorities are aware of
the potential hazard.  They should be.  As soon as the report came into
our office we posted the information on the Internet's main marine
mammal discussion forum, which is forwarded to many Florida
authorities.  However, no one from Florida has contacted us concerning
this information.

We do not know the exact location of the sinking.  No one does.  But it
is a standard practice for a captain of a vessels in KATHLEEN D's
condition to "hug" the coastline wherever possible.  For this reason,
the Moby Dick Society suspects the vessel went down somewhere near
shore.

In addition to the 1,300 metric tons of hydrated lime carried below,
the KATHLEEN D had 8 to 10 large shipping containers of unknown
material lashed on her deck.  These containers of ?????? are thought to
have been lost overboard and may have drifted into local waters before
they ruptured and spilled there unknown material.  In fact, these
containers may presently be leaking chemicals which are not only deadly
to manatees but also hazardous to people on the West Coast of Florida.

The US Coast Guard knew that KATHLEEN D was unseaworthy one week before
they allowed the vessel to depart Mobile.  When Safety Officers first
boarded the ship, they ordered it to stay in harbor.  Later, after
members of the Honduran Government's Naval Survey and Technical Bureau
in Coral Gables Florida made four trips to Mobile, they rescinded the
order and allowed the KATHLEEN D to sail on its way to Jamaica.

The 234-foot rust-bucket sank 15 hours later, drowning 8 of its 9-man
crew and polluting the Florida Coastline with its cargo.

  The following defects were noted by the US Coast Guard BEFORE THE
SHIP SAILED:

        *STERN TUBE LEAKING
        *EXTREME RUSTING OF HULL FRAMES AND PLATING
        *MAIN STEERING GEAR ALMOST INOPERATIVE
        *NAVIGATION CHARTS NOT CURRENT
        *FUEL SHUT-OFF INOPERABLE
        *BILGE FILLED WITH 3,500 GALLONS OF OILY WATER
        *PLUS 12 OTHER MAJOR SAFETY AND FIRE DEFICIENCIES

The Moby Dick Society repeats it earlier request for the Marine Mammal
Commission and the National Fisheries Service to form a task force to
investigate this obvious danger to the marine environment.

Why does the US Government allow unseaworthy vessel to load hazardous
chemicals at our docks and then sail, with those chemical aboard, along
our shores?

Captain D. Williams
Moby Dick Society, Inc.
Office 954-942-9352
Fax    954-942-9352
Mobile 954-242-0768

Internet:  davidmds@ix.netcom.com  or  mobydick@icanect.net