Archive for 02/29/2012

Brisbane Times – 

A US judge has acquitted Gabe Watson, the man accused of drowning his newlywed wife during a honeymoon diving trip to Australia.

Circuit Judge Tommy Nail ruled in Birmingham, Alabama that prosecutors failed to present enough evidence of a crime to send the case to jurors. He ended the two-week-long trial by acquitting the 34-year-old on his own.

Watson had faced a sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted of murdering his wife, Tina Thomas Watson, in 2003.

He already served 18 months in an Australian prison after pleading guilty there to a manslaughter charge involving negligence.

Nail agreed with defence arguments that prosecutors failed to show Watson intentionally killed the woman.

Prosecutors claimed he drowned her for insurance money, but the only eyewitness testified he thought Watson was trying to save the woman.

Gabe Watson’s father, David, hugged his son in the courtroom after the judge made his ruling.

He said every court that had looked at the case determined Gabe did not intentionally kill his wife.

“I’m just so relieved. Hopefully he can put his life back together,” David Watson said. “I hope everyone can begin to heal.

The rest of his life will determine his legacy. Gabe is a good kid.”

Full story…

 

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John Bell –

The award-winning nature documentary, This is Your Ocean: Sharks, completes its national tour with a series of final live showings in Palm Beach County starting March 21st with a gala evening event at Cobb Theatres 16 at Downtown at the Gardens in Palm Beach Gardens.

The film’s stars—celebrated marine artists and conservationists Dr. Guy Harvey and Wyland along with shark expert and diver Jim Abernathy and Emmy award winning director George C. Schellenger— are scheduled to attend the first showing, which will also feature a live auction of the artists’ original art. Tickets for the gala evening, which include light hors d’oeuvres and wine, are priced at $22.

All of the net proceeds from the gala opening and subsequent showings of the film at both Cobb Theatres 16 at Downtown at the Gardens and Cobb Theaters 18 in Jupiter are being donated to the Bahamas National Trust which recently headed a campaign resulting in the Government of the Bahamas prohibiting all commercial shark fishing in its more than 240,000 square miles of territorial waters.

The Bahamas is the fourth country to ban shark fishing after Honduras, the Maldives and Palau.

One of the premier shark-watching destinations for divers, reeling in $800 million over the past 20 years for the Bahamian national economy, sharks, according to Dr. Harvey, are worth much more alive than dead.

Full story…

 

gCaptain –

A fire on board a Russian oil tanker claimed the life of at least one crewmember in the Caspian Sea on Tuesday.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti, citing a regional Emergencies Ministry, reported that the fire started in the deck housing of the 4,700 dwt tanker Inzhener Nazarov at approximately 12:35 Moscow time and quickly spread to other parts of the ship.

Several crewmen of the 14 on board were forced into the water but were picked up by ships in the area while others stayed on board to battle the blaze.

1 person was reported to have been killed.

Several ships including fire fighting vessels quickly responded to the scene to assist with the rescue and firefighting efforts.

The Inzhener Nazarov was enroute from Turkmenistan to Makhachkala, Russia when the fire broke out. The incident is currently being investigated.