Shark tourney moves to Newport, dedicated to victim of Westport Harbor hunting tragedy
This year's 28th Monster Shark Tournament, moving from Oak Bluffs to Newport, will be held in memory of Steven James who died last January at age 53 in a duck hunting accident in Westport.
Mr. James of Marshfield and Robert Becher, 55, of Cromwell Conn., died in frigid water when the small aluminum boat in which they were riding swamped off Tripp's Boat Yard on a windy morning. Gregg Angell, then 51, of Westport was rescued after making his way to low-lying Cory's Island.
Mr. James had served as president of the Stellwagon Bank Charter Boat Association as well as Boston Big Game Fishing and was a founder of the Monster Shark Tournament.
"Steve felt really welcomed by Newport" said Debbie James, Mr. James' aunt. "When he called the family, there was always something new and exciting to tell about Newport for the tournament … He was so proud of this tournament. He was particularly proud that he was able to institute the highest weight limits, making this more a catch and release tournament."
The tournament will take place Friday, July 17-20 at Casey's Marina in Newport. The public is iinvited to attend for the weigh-ins, and there will also be information from speakers on the different types of sharks, their habits and habitat," added Ms. James.
Rick Bellevance, president of the Rhode Island Party and Charter Boat Association, said, "We recognize Steve's contribution to running a responsible, sustainable tournament which has contributed information to better understanding shark migration and habits."