Friday, August 03, 2007

A CASE OF "MARINE MISCHIEF" - not terrorism

Bizarre submersible found floating off New York: reports
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VIDEO:
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Aug 3 01:27 PM US/Eastern
New York authorities were questioning three men found in a bizarre submersible vessel floating just off Manhattan on Friday, according to local reports. The men were discovered early Friday near the cruise terminal in Brooklyn where the massive ocean liner The Queen Mary II is moored, ABC television reported on its website.
When asked about the incident, a police spokeswoman declined to confirm the report or provide any further information, saying only that officers were at the scene. What the three men were doing in the vessel -- which appeared to be spherical with a circular hatch on top -- was not immediately clear. According to ABC, there was no indication that the discovery was terror-related -- a constant fear in New York following the September 11 Al-Qaeda attacks on New York.
ABC's radio affiliate WABC reported that the vessel was equipped with oxygen tanks.
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A clear-cut case of "marine mischief"
Odd Replica Sub Intercepted Near Queen Mary II
Vessel Looks Like One of United States' First Submarines
VIDEO: Odd Vessel Found In NYC Harbor
(CBS) NEW YORK A strange-looking submarine, apparently modeled after a Revolutionary War vessel, was spotted Friday near the docked Queen Mary II, and NYPD Harbor and SCUBA units arrested three people for questioning.
The vessel, with one person inside, and an inflatable boat carrying two people, were spotted near a security zone around the luxury ocean liner docked at the cruise ship terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It was not clear what the people were doing in the vessels, but police said there was no indication that the incident was related to terrorism.
The sub, piloted by 35-year-old Philip Rey, came within 100 feet of the luxury cruise liner. A detective from the New York Police Department Intelligence Division noticed the vessels at around 10:30 a.m. and summoned the Harbor Unit.
The mysterious vessel was partly submerged and “appeared to be designed for underwater navigation,” the NYPD said in a statement. The vessel appears to be a replica of the "Bushnell Turtle," the first American submarine, invented around 1775 in Connecticut by David Bushnell. The Revolutionary War era sub was designed as a naval weapon, and it was meant to drill into a ship's hull and plant a keg of powder, which would be detonated by a time fuse.
“All three males are expected to be charged with a number of violations and both vessels will be secured by the Harbor Unit,” the NYPD said.
The self-propelled submarine was escorted by police and Rey was issued a Coast Guard violation for operating an unsafe vehicle and violating the security zone around the Queen Mary II. Photographs showed a vessel that resembled a diving bell, with a hatch on top.It has been reported that it “was equipped with oxygen tanks.”
"While our ongoing investigation has so far yielded no suspicious devices or materials other than the vessel itself, NYPD detectives will extensively examine Queen Mary 2 to ensure its integrity," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "The three individuals believed responsible are in custody and may face various charges. Meanwhile we can summarize today's incident as
marine mischief.

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