Jaws: Original Orca Boat Being Recreated to Promote Shark Conservation

jaws movie boat orca
(Photo: Universal Pictures)

At the end of the original Jaws, Quint's ship the Orca sinks to the bottom of the ocean as Brody and Hooper swim to shore. To celebrate the accomplishments of that original film, and in hopes of spreading the message of shark conservation, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched in hopes of converting a fishing vessel into a recreation of the original Orca, thanks to the help of the original movie's design team. Once completed, the ship aims to offer free or discounted charters for school and camp groups, in addition to serving as a vessel for the conservation group Beneath the Waves. The campaign has a goal of $150,000.

Per press release, "The Orca, Quint’s legendary boat from the film Jaws, is being recreated by the original people involved in the blockbuster who designed and built her for the film released in 1975. Rather than hunting the great white shark, as in the film, part of the Orca’s new mission will be researching marine life and helping people better understand the varieties of shark species in the area around Martha’s Vineyard including great white sharks.

"Jaws author Peter Benchley was a huge advocate of conservation, a legacy continued by his widow. 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. Helping realize this project is academy award nominee and Jaws production designer Joe Alves. Also involved is Martha’s Vineyard local Chris Crawford, who refitted the boat Warlock in just six weeks back in 1974, creating the Orca in Jaws. This time round, the new Orca will be a refit from a Nova Scotia lobster boat, the Lydia, found on the north shore of Massachusetts.

"As well as good news for local conservation efforts, the project is also looking to help local youth charities on Martha’s Vineyard. After completion of the build, the Orca III will be launched at a public christening ceremony into the waters off Martha’s Vineyard, just like in the film. Orca III will then begin her conservationist mission. Greg Skomal, PhD, and Marine Fisheries biologist at Martha's Vineyard Fisheries, will journey aboard the Orca III to the waters off Martha’s Vineyard. There he will work with his crew to stage research of the sharks around the island prowling the waters for the rich seal population which has exploded over the past 20 years."

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You can head to the project's Indiegogo campaign or the Return of the Orca official site for more details.

Are you looking forward to the project? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things horror and Star Wars!

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