Oak Bluffs hauls in, cites scalloper

Oak Bluffs police, State Police and Oak Bluffs emergency management personnel responded Tuesday to a report of a boater in distress and found a mildly disgruntled scalloper in choppy seas about 200 yards offshore in the area of Hart Haven.

According to a police report, officers who responded to an area near Little Bridge could not see from shore there if anyone was aboard a small skiff. Later, police moved north to the area across from Farm Pond and saw a man leaning over the side of the boat. Police sent the Oak Bluffs fire and rescue patrol boat to investigate.

Officer Jeffrey LaBell, aboard the patrol boat, found Michael A. Briggs aboard the 12-foot wooden skiff with an outboard engine. According to police, Mr. Briggs was attempting to gather scallops by using a peep sight, a bucket or device with a clear bottom that allows a viewer to see underwater. The devices are usually used by recreational scallopers wading in shallow water.

“Briggs stated he was fine and only scalloping,” wrote Officer LaBell in his report. “Officers observed the vessel had no registration numbers and was missing several other required safety items.”

Police escorted Mr. Briggs back into Oak Bluffs Harbor and cited him for operating an unregistered motor vessel.