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  1. #1
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    April Daily Digest

    Great Bite Pointer

    Chelsea White
    2 April 2008
    Lifeguard David Piper gets up close and personal with the Great White Shark yesterday.
    Picture: SIMON DEAN KIV85962

    ONE of the most feared ocean creatures, the great white shark was caught off both Freshwater and Queenscliff beaches yesterday as swimmers enjoyed the last of the warm weather.
    The close to 2m long shark was first spotted off Freshwater around lunch time where lifeguards attempted to wrangle the disorientated juvenile.
    Lifeguards pulled it right up on to the beach before trying unsuccessfully to walk the shark - which was originally thought to be a mako - out to deeper water.
    The Freshwater lifeguards tried twice before using the jet ski to tow the shark out from the beach.
    The shark then reappeared around 3.30pm at Queenscliff where it washed up on the rocks. Lifeguards then pulled it up into the rock pools. While he was still alive at the time, the obviously sick fish, an endangered species later died.
    The incident occurred only a few days after the whole of Manly beach had to be cleared after a person thought they saw a shark on Sunday.
    The sighting was never confirmed but schools of whitebait behaving erratically was also reported on Sunday - a sign of shark feeding activity.
    Manly Vale resident Michael McGrath was taking pictures off Freshwater headland yesterday when the shark first swam into Freshwater.
    ``It didn't look very well. It was really disorientated and it kept washing back in,'' he said.
    ``The lifeguards I though were very brave. They went right in there to rescue it and one guy got really close.''
    Queenscliff lifeguard David Piper said he went looking for the shark after Freshwater radioed it in. Mr Piper said he pulled the shark in to protect swimmers and had notified NSW Department of Fisheries who wanted to use the shark for research. The shark later died at Queenscliff.
    Mr Piper told the Daily he has seen sharks close up before but this was definitely the closest.
    Senior Aquarist at Manly's Oceanworld Victoria Brims confirmed the shark's identity and said while rare, the Great White is in the northern beaches' waters.
    ``They are out there. I don't know where the adults are but there are juveniles,'' she said. ``We do get them, especially with changing water temperature and currents, because they follow the food.''
    The endangered shark is most well known for attacks on humans.
    Ms Brim who estimates the 1.5-2m long shark was only a few years old said a Great White could start to pose a risk when it grows to 3m.
    ``It is a protected species so it is a shame that no one put it back or called us because it could have had a chance. It is just a waste of that poor shark.''
    Great white sharks are the world's largest known predatory fish and can reach lengths of more than 6 m and weighing up to 2,250 kg.


    CPSO arrest Lake Charles man on terrorizing charges

    Published: Monday, March 31, 2008 7:06 PM CDT
    E-mail this story | Print this page

    Raymond S. Marrero

    Lake Charles , LA - On March 30th around 8 p.m., the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the Isle of Capri Casino in Westlake where they learned Joseph I. Hudson, 34, 1901 Alvin St. , Lake Charles, stole a jet-ski from a boathouse on Shell Beach Dr., and drove it to the Isle of Capri where he abandoned it about 15 to 20 yards away from the casino boat. He entered onto the Isle property and told security there was a bomb on the jet-ski. Deputies advised because of the bomb threat, the casino boat and the tower hotel needed to be evacuated. A short time later CPSO Marine Division arrived and searched the jet-ski for a bomb but none was found.

    Hudson was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center and charged with two counts of terrorizing; DWI 1st; criminal trespassing; theft over $500; simple criminal damage to property; illegal possession of stolen property; no personal floatation device; and riding a personal water craft after dark. While in route to the Correctional Center Hudson informed the deputy that he had Anthrax in his wallet. His wallet was checked and no Anthrax was found.

    CPSO Deputies Shannon Sutherland and Casey LaFargue are the arresting deputies.

    Judge David Ritchie set his bond at $133,500.


    Local surfers charge massive waves

    By Justin Beard (Contact)
    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Charles Williams has ridden his fair share of big waves.
    Twenty-footers at Puerto Escondido, Mexico, and 25-footers at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, are a few of his feats. Neither rival what Williams, shaper/owner of Impact Surfboards in Fort Pierce, and a few friends rode last week in Puerto Rico.
    Williams, his brother George, of Jensen Beach, as well as Stuart's Scott Harwood and Todd Rissacher, flew to Puerto Rico last Tuesday hoping to score giant surf at famed big wave break, Tres Palmas.
    The foursome spent last Wednesday through Friday towing each other into 40-foot-plus set waves with a Jet Ski, paddling into smaller 25- to 35-foot waves and occasionally saving one another from drowning.
    "The fronts of the set waves were at least 40-foot on Thursday, the biggest day of the swell," Williams said. "They were so big and the wind was blowing so hard up the face, that you had to have a Jet Ski to make the drop."
    Unfazed by the challenge of dodging 40-foot walls of water and picking off the smaller sets, the crew managed to paddle into a few waves in between tow sessions.
    "Towing in wasn't too bad, the real challenge was paddling into them. I was out from 7 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon and only paddled into five waves on Thursday," Williams said.
    "I wouldn't have even bothered trying to paddle into the waves if they weren't perfect, but they were flawless and pretty much inviting us to ride them."


    9 readers have commented on this story. Click here to read their views.

    TWO men who decided to go jetskiing along flooded streets after the July deluge last year were today found guilty of assaulting and harrassing a public-spirited man who asked them to stop.

    Robert Breakwell, 26, of Meadowbank in Briscombe, and Michael Pobjoy, 47, of Nursery Drive, Brimscombe, allegedly assaulted Roger Sillick, 62, after he complained they were making the flood damage worse.

    Witnesses who gave evidence at Gloucester Magistrates Court said there were between 40 and 100 people watching as Breakwell roared along the flooded street on his jetski dressed in only his black boxer shorts.

    <A style="COLOR: #000000; TEXT-DECORATION: none" name=continueNews>While Mr Sillick, a cleaning company boss, and prosecution witnesses had told the court that many of those watching we upset, one having lost £30,000 worth of property due to the flooding, Breakwell and Pobjoy told the court that bystanders were enjoying the show.

    "Everybody was watching and cheering," Pobjoy said. "It was quite a scene with everyone trying to get a vantage point to see what was going on."

    Giving evidence yesterday, Breakwell said he had put his arms around Mr Sillick in a bearhug after seeing Mr Sillick with his hand on the throat of Daniel Pobjoy, the 24-year-old son of Pobjoy and friend of Breakwell.

    "Daniel was trying to pull him off with one hand and I put my arms around Roger and walked him away," he told the court.

    "It was strange really because nothing was said. I just calmed him down and said: 'it's okay, we're all going'."

    This was after the jetski's engine too had been flooded by water.

    "Daniel's a very good friend of mine and I was very worried for him," Breakwell said.

    "He's got pins in his legs from a serious bike accident."

    Under cross examination from prosecutor John Heard, however, Breakwell's friend Steven Dangerfield said that Mr Sillick's friends had come and taken him away from the situation, not Breakwell.

    Mr Dangerfield told the court that Mr Sillick had attacked Daniel Pobjoy, trying to strangle him. He demonstrated the hold by placing his hand on his neck.

    When Mr Heard put this to Daniel Pobjoy, however, the 24-year-old did his own demonstration - with his hand grabbing his shirt at upper chest level. He also said he had splashed Mr Sillick because he did not like hearing him arguing with his father.

    Mr Sillick had earlier told the court the house he and his wife had lived in for 30 years had escaped the flooding but they had spent most of the day helping neighbours who were not so lucky.

    He was annoyed, he said, when he saw a jet skier cruising along the flooded street with one arm raised as if to say 'Look at me'.

    Mr Sillick said he was concerned that the water was polluted and there were cars submerged in it. He had asked the jetskiers to stop.

    He said one of the men responded: "There's always one" and "you're going to get wet"."

    Mr Sillick said the two splashed him and tried to pull him into the water.

    "Initially when they turned up, I felt annoyed because I could see what was going to happen," he told the court.

    "I thought to myself 'keep calm, keep cool'."

    "When things started to go wrong I was expecting verbal interchange but I was not expecting to get pulled around.

    "At the end of it I was shaking," Mr Sillick said.

    He described the two defendants as very aggressive.

    "It was just a feeling I had spoiled their fun and they were going to take it out on me," he said.

    His injuries resulting from the incident, including a torn forearm muscle and bruising, had taken about six weeks to heal, he said

    Pobjoy and Breakwell both said they were only out for a bit of fun on that day.

    In police interviews, Breakwell said the nearest place they could otherwise jetski was Bristol.

    "It seemed like a fun thing to do," he said.

    When the police officer asked him if he considered it orderly behaviour, he replied: "I thought at the time but can see it was wrong when you look back at things."

    Mr Dangerfield, however, described the night as turning into a disaster.

    "It started out as a bit of fun but turned out a bit of a disaster," he said. "We didn't go there to cause any trouble - we just wanted a bit of fun."

    Magistrates found Breakwell guilty of taking hold of Mr Sillick and Pobjoy guilty of splashing him, both constituting assaults. They were also both found guilty of using threatening words.

    The bench said they found that Mr Sillick had not been the aggressor and had not attacked Daniel Pobjoy. Defence witnesses had presented conflicting accounts and the story had clearly been concocted between them to excuse their part in the incident, magistrates said.

    Pobjoy was fined £300 for the assault, ordered to pay £450 towards prosecution costs, £15 victim surcharge and £100 compensation to Mr Sillick. Breakwell, a beneficiary, was ordered to pay a fine of £100, £15 victim surcharge, £50 towards costs and £100 compensation.

    There were no additional penalties imposed for the threatening words offence.

    Reader comments

    Only a Fine? whats wrong with prison for these 2 mindless bullies? pity they didnt get poisoned from the water they thought was so fun to play inMeInnit, Glos

    The attitude of "anon" (says it all -too cowardly to identify himself)and Ben dmeonstrates why this country has gone down hill. Neither they or these idiot jet-skiers have the brains or compassion to understand the extra harm their so-called fun was causing to the flooded homes! Sounds as though the guy with the pins in his legs from a serious accident still needs to learn the lesson!Andrew Meads, Gloucester

    Mr Breakwell, Mr Pobjoy - What pair of idiots and loosers! I live in the States and people with boats and jetskis go out and try to help people who are less fortunate and not playing the big I am's. What you did took away from the emerency services at a time when people needed them. PREHAPS A DAY IN THE STOCKS WOULD BE JUST PUNISHMENT!!Walter Guest - Pennsylvania, Washington, Pennsylvania

    Obviously those people who approved of the jetskiers have no idea of what flooding can do. I was flooded twice and the actions of people in the streets pushing water further into my house by inconsiderately using their cars made things worse. I assume that jet skiing would have a similar effect.Michael, Winchcombe

    sounds to me like Mr Sillick is nothing but a bore. It flooded, things were bad, so what's wrong with two people having some lighthearted to take people's minds of the situation. Mr Sillick should be the one paying the fine for being an grumpy old git, it's not like he actually got physically attacked for being boring and got broken bones. He's just took this to court because he's bitter he didn't get his own way on the day.Ben, Cheltenham

    They were hooligans and should have their jet skis confiscated before the next floods arrive.Douglas, Dymock

    This not a funny story! This is two younger guys and their friends pushing an older man around. They don`t have to go as far as Bristol to jet-ski, haven`t they heard of the Cotwold Water Park just the other side of Cirencester? Liam, Norge

    Ha Ha what a funny story. is this still a april fool because you got the wrong day. Fair play to the jet skiers they were only having fun on what was a upsetting period.anon, Cheltenham

    Is this the most confusing and brilliantly disjointed stories ever?? Everyone was cheering and then suddenly there were hands round throats and no one knew who was there and one of the jet-skiers has pins in their legs...?? And one was found guilty of "splashing"...?? April fools was yesterday though.Luke, Cheltenham nt&sourceNode=231754&home=yes&more_nodeId1=231776& contentPK=20296890


    Tourist drowns at Byron

    March 26, 2008

    THE Westpac Rescue Helicopter helps find a swimmer who drowned at Belongil Beach.
    By RACHEL AFFLICK A 35-year-old Sydney man has drowned after being caught in a rip at Byron Bay's Belongil Beach - nearly one year to the day after a Japanese tourist died at the same spot in similar circumstances.
    The man, who was staying in Byron Bay for the Blues Festival, was swimming just east of Belongil Creek when he was sucked out to sea by a severe rip at 12.30pm.
    A passer-by who could not swim saw the man was in trouble and called 000, remaining on the scene until lifeguards arrived.
    Northern NSW Lifeguard co-ordinator Stephen Leahy said lifeguards searched the area on jet skis while the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter did an aerial search.
    "The waves themselves were less than half a metre but in that area there were many rips and strong currents," Mr Leahy said.
    In a matter of minutes the helicopter crew spotted a man in the water, about 300 metres west of Belongil Creek.
    A lifeguard found the man unconscious and dragged him onto the sled behind his jet ski.
    Despite the best efforts of the emergency services to resuscitate the man, he could not be revived.
    Mr Leahy said it was tragic to think that less than a kilometre down the beach there was a fully-manned lifeguard service and safer conditions.
    The man's death comes one year since a 26-year-old Japanese student died on the same stretch of beach after being caught in a rip.
    Her body was found in the same spot.
    Given yesterday's drowning, Mr Leahy has called on all local festival organisers to consider including water safety education events in their planning process.
    "This accident was pretty much preventable," Mr Leahy said.
    "It highlights the importance of continuing to swim at patrolled beaches.
    "I want to applaud the quick efforts of lifeguards and the volunteers from the Byron Bay Surf Lifesaving Club who attended.


  2. #2
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    Osborne: Neighbors oppose boaters', shooters' freedom

    By Yoanna Osborne/Commentary

    Thu Apr 03, 2008, 06:24 PM EDT

    Clinton - I love this country … that’s why every April 19, regardless of weather conditions, I march with my fellow colonial friends and militia re-enactors from Sudbury to Concord in the wee hours of the morning. We shoot off muskets, beat drums and blow fifes as a testament to what our forefathers did to preserve liberty on the blood-stained, hallowed ground of Lexington and Concord and various other battlegrounds. I also recently marched in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the heart of South Boston, acknowledging why the Irish people had to fight for their constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as free people not subject to tyranny. Every time I see a serviceman or -woman in uniform, I go out of my way to thank him or her and shake their hands as a small token of gratitude for how these noble heroes step into harm’s way so that we can live, think and act as free men.
    This kind of freedom comes at a price, as anything of value would. It requires time, money, personal family sacrifices and even life itself in order to maintain it. I don’t treat this blood-bought freedom lightly, nor should anyone else living in America — land of the free and home of the brave.
    Last week another pivotal meeting in a series was held by the Lancaster Zoning Board of Appeals in order to hear the Clinton Fish & Game’s request for a special permit to reopen the rifle range for the purpose it was intended for: shooting. Unfortunately, the opposition’s agenda is clearly driven by self-interest, whereas ours is motivated by freedom. I’m sorry that these residents live so close, which they chose to do, and don’t like the noise, but the answer is not to shut other Americans out from this area who have a right to be there. The only reasonable choice, without trampling our rights, too, is to tolerate compromise or move elsewhere.
    No matter how they dress it up as a safety issue, their protest amounts to one thing … a power grab. One South Meadow homeowner described herself as a “major taxpayer.” What does that make the rest of us? Chopped liver? Let’s get some perspective here. Nypro is a major taxpayer. The last I checked, we residents all pay the same rate for taxes regardless of our address. I salute them for their passion but not their position.
    At least one homeowner was honest enough to admit the issue wasn’t about gun safety or discrimination against sportsmen … it’s about gunfire noise pollution and being selfish — those were his own words. He couldn’t be more accurate in his declaration or characterization of the issue at its core. No amount of complaining, ideological spin or vehement protest can drown out the truth.
    I’m genuinely sorry that these residents made poor decisions without doing their due diligence to examine the area in which they bought property. However, it is not the public’s responsibility to pay for their mistakes. The solution isn’t to take away other citizens’ freedom … that truly would be selfish!
    Let me point out that countless attempts have been made to reach compromise about the conditions for hours of use or operation. The reason this group of zealous residents have not reasonably engaged in mediation thus far is because they sincerely want everything their own way or no way. Thank God our constitution doesn’t support their viewpoint!
    Several concerned citizens also pointed out that the nature of our world has changed over time (i.e., shootings, lack of conscience), and the neighborhood in that area has become more residential surrounding the Brandli Parcel. However, when these folks intimate that we should therefore get rid of the rifle range on this premise, that’s like suggesting the Ten Commandments are no longer valid and don’t apply to our modern culture. Either our right to bear arms and use them (by implication) is protected and lawful or it isn’t.
    Robert Steff, a dedicated Boy Scout leader from Lancaster, wisely linked the other disgraceful robbery of our freedom to this particular issue: the boat ramp. He accurately identified the encroachment on our public resources fueled by privatization. His comments merely echoed the sentiments voiced for the past four years by Robert Kane, a local sportsman and activist: our publicly held resources should be open to the public … period. Not somewhat or at certain times, but rather all the time. If private property owners wish to put up gates and barriers, fine; but they should do it at their own expense, not with our taxpayer money.
    Everyone should have access to the same supply of fish stocked by the state on any given day with a trailerable boat; otherwise, we encourage discrimination against those sportsmen who own them and the disabled who need them. No property owners along the pond should possess a key for their own personal use in this case if they haven’t paid for the privilege with their own money.
    If the wetlands are at stake, and this position is debatable with more than one professional assessment in the mix, then by all means find another ramp site, but not at the expense of the public’s right to use the ponds. Legislate jet ski use if necessary, but don’t punish all boat owners for the inconsiderate behavior of folks engaging in certain leisure activities.
    On April 4, down at South Meadow at 10 a.m., a hearing will be taking place to re-evaluate this issue with the Department of Environmental Protection present if you wish your voice to be heard.
    The Spirit of 1775 is still alive and well in 2008. We all remember the impassioned words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Those who oppose the rifle range can’t quote these same words for their cause. No one is holding them at gunpoint to live in that neighborhood or the other two communities which border the property in Sterling and Lancaster. However, promoting that responsible, law-abiding gun owners can’t hunt wildlife or shoot targets in an area protected by law to do so is indeed exactly that … illegal and tyrannical.
    My colonial forefathers and current military troops ironically have paid with their lives for these folks to embrace their own opinions freely but not to usurp the freedom of others to peacefully coexist as neighbors and use the same property for shooting sports. Let’s not ever forget the price paid for freedom and what it’s worth in the wake of personal interest bearing down on our society.
    Yoanna Osborne is a Clinton resident.

  3. #3
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    Surfer, 16, killed by shark at Ballina

    9:17a.m. 8 April 2008

    A 16-year-old surfer has died after being attacked by a shark off the NSW north coast.
    The boy died at North Wall Beach at Ballina after suffering large bites to the leg and body, a Surf Life Saving NSW spokesman says.
    The attack took place around 8.30am (AEST) while the boy was bodyboarding with a friend.
    “Basically we know that shortly after eight o’clock this morning, two boys were surfing, or bodysurfing on bodyboards, adjacent to the North Wall at Ballina,” Surf Life Saving spokesman Stephen Leahy told AAP.
    “Shortly after eight o’clock one of the boys indicated that he was in trouble to his mate, his mate went over to help and found that he had been attacked.
    ”He brought him up on to the shore, but unfortunately the boy died due to his injuries.“
    Mr Leahy said all beaches in Ballina had been closed as a precaution.
    Another Surf Life Saving NSW spokesman, Craig Roberts, said the boy suffered two large bites, one to the leg and one to the body.
    The shark had not been spotted since, and crews were out looking for it.
    ”The patient came in with another gentleman and lifeguards attended the scene,“ Mr Roberts told ABC radio.
    ”As you can imagine it was quite a distressful situation.
    “He was unconscious and the lifeguards and ambulance officers had some severe haemorrhage to deal with.”
    Mr Roberts said lifeguards performed well in the traumatic situation.
    “Certainly it’s one of those things that you’re trained for but hopefully it never happens as well,” he said.
    “The lifeguards did an excellent job and worked with the ambulance and the police service, but obviously it is a traumatic experience.”
    The boy was surfing 50 metres out from shore at the time of the attack, he said.
    Reports that a second man was attacked but survived have not been confirmed.
    Mr Roberts said the beach was normally patrolled, but crews had not started patrolling for the day.
    Surfers’ websites say North Wall beach, just north of the Richmond River estuary, is popular, but they warn of the danger from sharks.
    However Mr Roberts said it was not common for sharks to be present off North Wall beach at this time of year.
    “Earlier on in the year there was a very heightened risk in the Byron (Bay) area in which we put some additional measures with jet skis and helicopters in the area,” he said.
    “But at this time of year it’s generally not a high prone (high prone) season for the sharks.”
    Lifesavers will get a full report on the incident at 9.30am

    (AEST). - AAPSurfer, 16, killed by shark at Ballina |

  4. #4
    Moderator shawn alladio's Avatar
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    Man shot during Saturday fishing trip


    Investigators questioned a man who showed up at the Manatee Memorial Hospital emergency room Saturday with a gun shot wound in the arm.
    According to a Manatee County Sheriff's Office report, the man said he had gone fishing sometime before 2 p.m. Saturday with two other men under a bridge in the 3300 block of State Road 64 East.
    As they were getting their fishing equipment out of the car trunk, several shots were fired at them, the victim said. He started running under the bridge and jumped into the water.
    When he got back to where the vehicle was parked, his two companions had left, so he flagged down a motorist for a ride to the hospital.
    The man could not provide any information besides the first names of the other two men.
    After questioning the victim, the investigators got a report of a witness to the shooting who was riding a personal motorized watercraft in the area.
    The witness said he saw three vehicles, possibly a maroon Corolla, a silver sedan and a black pickup truck.
    He heard around three shots, saw the person who fired the shots get into the maroon car and leave the area.
    The witness also said the man who was shot got out of the water and left in the sedan, while the other two men came out of the mangroves and left in the pickup.

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