You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Going in the water again: 'Jaws' boat clone supports sharks

Going in the water again: 'Jaws' boat clone supports sharks

The Orca is headed back to the waters of New England, but this time, its mission isn't to hunt sharks. It's to help save them.

A group of ocean advocates and movie buffs is turning an old lobster fishing vessel into a replica of the Orca, the boat captained by the grizzled shark hunter Quint in “Jaws.” The work is taking place on Martha's Vineyard, where Steven Spielberg shot the blockbuster movie in the 1970s.

The occasion doesn't call for a bigger boat so much as one with a different purpose, said Vineyard native David Bigelow, who acquired the craft and is heading up the project. When finished, he said, Orca III will be used as an educational tool to help the public understand sharks and as a research vessel for scientists.

The project is dear to the heart of Bigelow, who appeared as an extra in “Jaws,” and to that of his drama teacher Lee Fierro, who played the mother of a shark attack victim. Reports of shark sightings on some New England beaches in recent years moved him to take on the project.

“The need to educate people about the new ecosystem we’re living in, because of climate change and the seal population, is probably our only defense,” Bigelow said, sighting two possible drivers of increased shark sightings. “We have basically taken on this role where the boat is going to be used for education.”

Bigelow said that he believes the retrofitting work can be completed by this fall and that the boat can start helping people study sharks by next spring. The boat will be called Orca III because there were actually two vessels in “Jaws" — Orca and Orca II. Orca is seen in much of the film, and Orca II was a prop vessel.

Others working on the mission to bring back the Orca have a connection to “Jaws,” too. Joe Alves, production designer on the movie, is on board, as is Chris Crawford, who retrofitted a boat called Warlock into the original Orca in 1974.

The conservation group Beneath The Waves has signed on to use the new Orca on expeditions. The group's board of directors includes Wendy Benchley, widow of Peter Benchley, who wrote the 1974 novel on which the movie is based.

“The return of the Orca is a celebration for the fans of ‘Jaws,’ as well as an exciting new resource in the pursuit of a greater understanding about our oceans and the life teeming in it,” she said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

0
0
0
0
0

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

State
  • Updated

Dr. Sonia Angell said in a resignation letter made public late Sunday that she's departing from her role as director and state public health officer at the California Department of Public Health. Her letter to staff did not give a specific reason for her departure.

State
  • Updated

Ventura County leaders have approved restraining orders and other enforcement actions against individuals and businesses who refuse to comply with local and state health orders to control the spread of the coronavirus.

State
  • Updated

California lawmakers are pushing to enact nearly a dozen policing reform laws driven by nationwide outrage and protests after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis in May. Lawmakers have until Aug. 31 to approve and send legislation to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

State
  • Updated

Ventura County leaders have approved restraining orders and other enforcement actions against individuals and businesses who refuse to comply with local and state health orders to control the spread of the coronavirus.

State
  • Updated

Olympians are known for pushing their bodies to the extreme but much less understood are the mental and emotional rigors paving their road to greatness. Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, says he had suicidal thoughts even at the peak of his remarkable swimming career and calls depression and suicide among Olympic athletes an “epidemic.”

State
  • Updated

California health officials released guidelines Monday for elementary schools to seek waivers that would allow them to offer classroom instruction but recommended that local health officials not even consider that option in counties with the highest rates of coronavirus infection.

National
  • Updated

A technical problem has caused a lag in California’s tally of coronavirus test results, casting doubt on the accuracy of recent data showing improvements in the infection rate and number of positive cases, and hindering efforts to track the spread, the state’s top health official said Tuesday.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News