Although the screen used boat and original recreation no longer exist, efforts are underway to build another replica of the famous Jaws vessel. Even better, “The Orca III” (based on Captain Quint’s legendary boat) is being recreated by the original people who designed and built her for the film in 1975.
And unlike the maniacal Quint’s shark hunting expeditions, the new “Orca III” will be used as a research vessel for studying marine life and helping people better understand the varieties of shark species in the area around the original filming location for Jaws, Martha’s Vineyard.
In his later years, Jaws author Peter Benchley was an advocate for shark conservation, and his widow, Wendy Benchley, is continuing the mission by offering expeditions for the organization’s researchers once the new ship is water-ready (a public christening ceremony on Martha’s Vineyard will also be held once completed).
Academy award nominee and Jaws production designer Joe Alves and Martha’s Vineyard local Chris Crawford, will transform a recently discovered Nova Scotia lobster boat, the “Lydia”, into ‘Orca III”.
Austin Gallagher, PhD, 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.” Ironically, the shark population has exploded in the waters off of the East Coast, with numbers of Great White Sharks and other species making the area their summer residence, making the waters perfect for this type of research (but maybe not the best for swimming in!).
The “Orca III” is expected to be completed this fall and you can help support the efforts by checking out the Return of the Orca indiegogo campaign.