Return of the Orca

The Orca, the famous boat from Jaws, is about to rise from the depths once again – and for a good cause, to boot. Online Jaws groups Making the Monster and The Daily Jaws are teaming to raise funds to restore a Nova Scotia lobster boat currently called Lydia and turn it into a replica of the boat that Quint, Brody, and Hooper headed out on to stop the shark that was plaguing Amity Island. But this new Orca won’t be used to hunt sharks. Instead, it’s being created for “researching marine life and helping people better understand the varieties of shark species in the area around Martha’s Vineyard including great white sharks.”

Return of the Orca

Here’s a cool fundraiser from Jaws enthusiasts Making the Monster and The Daily Jaws. The plan is to rebuild the Orca, the boat owned by ornery fisherman Quint in Steven Spielberg’s classic Jaws. The boat will be called Orca III, since two Orcas were built for Jaws (the one surviving boat from the film eventually was destroyed due to neglect).

The project is teaming with Wendy Benchley, the widow of Jaws author Peter Benchley. Wendy Benchley is on the board of directors of Beneath The Waves, “a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ocean health and focusing on threatened species conservation, who will use the new Orca as part of its mission offering expeditions for the organization’s researchers.”

Also involved: Jaws production designer Joe Alves and Mathra’s Vineyard local Chris Crawford, who refitted an existing boat back in the ’70s to create the original Orca. Alves and Crawford are working as a team to create the new boat, with Crawford in charge of the physical recreation with a team of expert boat builders while Alves will provide design plans and art direction to make the new Orca look as close to the film version as possible.

Of the project, Austin Gallagher, Ph.D., and CEO and Chief Scientist for Beneath The Waves, said: “The return of the Orca represents an evolution of the mission for which that craft was built. In the classic film, she was a vessel for destruction. Now she’ll be a part of the preservation and study of the marine world we at Beneath The Waves have been focused on for the last several years in the Northwest Atlantic.”

This is an altogether commendable project. Rather than just making another fan-based documentary about Jaws, of which there are several, this is about both recreating something iconic from the film and also using that recreation for a noble purpose. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to launch my own fundraiser to rebuild the undersea lab from Deep Blue Sea, and fill it with genetically-modified sharks.

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