A devastating fire has torn through Eastbourne Pier. The main roof of the pier, built in the East Sussex seaside town in the 1870s, has been completely destroyed, leaving only a metal skeleton.

 

The pier was evacuated. No-one was injured in the fire and police said it was not thought to be suspicious. The fire service said late on Wednesday the incident was being scaled down and 30 firefighters were expected to stay at the scene overnight.

Eastbourne Borough Council leader David Tutt said he was hopeful the pier could be repaired and understood the fire had been started by an electrical fault.

“The emergency services have done a fantastic job,” he said. “The fact that as far as we’re aware that nobody’s hurt – we’re not aware of anybody unaccounted for – they evacuated the site very quickly and they’ve managed to contain it to that front dome so there’s hope of getting the pier restored.

“The building which has been affected is the largest dome on the pier, and it has been badly damaged – but further down it looks as it’s always looked.

“My understanding… [is] it looks as if there was a problem with electrics in the wall of the dome between the two layers of the wall there and that seems to be where it started.”

The blaze broke out behind some wood panelling in the arcade building and billowing smoke filled the air.

Sian Ellis, a hotel manager in the town, said it was an “absolute red, molten, mess of flame and smoke”. “We’ve just had another explosion there and it’s very, very frightening and hugely saddening for the whole of the town,” she said.

Fire minister Penny Mordaunt said she would be visiting Eastbourne “as a priority” to speak to local people and thank firefighters for their efforts.

“It is heart-breaking to see such a wonderful Victorian pier so damaged. Thankfully no-one appears to have been hurt,” she said.

‘Under control’
About 80 firefighters had tackled the blaze in the privately-owned pier, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said.

A fire service spokesman said at one stage: “Firefighters are using lifeboats to help tackle the fire from the sea and an aerial platform is being used as a water tower to prevent the fire from spreading on the shore side.”

He said crews had gone onto the pier from the seaward end to stop the fire spreading further along the structure.

 

See full article and video at BBC News – click here

 

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Categories: Accident

The Dutch steel yacht builder will be unveiling the latest version of the Grand Sturdy 34.9 Sedan at the PSP Southampton Boat Show.

 

As the line-up for the PSP Southampton Boat Show (12-21 September 2014) continues to take shape, Dutch steel yacht manufacturer Linssen has confirmed it will be treating to a UK premiere.

The latest version of the Linssen Grand Sturdy 34.9 Sedan will be making its Southampton debut on the Boat Showrooms stand in berth M012, the company has confirmed.

This new displacement cruiser will be fitted with a single four-cylinder Volvo Penta D2, which generates 75bhp, resulting in a cruising speed of 6.5 knots and a top speed of 8 knots.

Boasting Linssen’s Variodeck sliding sunroof, this model has been updated for the 2015 season, complete with a new interior colour scheme.

With a base price of 263,400 euros (£208,000), this model is sure to attract a lot of attention from steel yacht fans.

Those clamouring to see the new Linssen after the show can book a private viewing at Swanwick Marina from 23-28 September 2014.

Linssen is the market leader in the steel yacht market and is currently celebrating its 65th anniversary year.

 
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 
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Categories: Boat launch, Boat Show

People across Glasgow and west Scotland turned out in their thousands to welcome the Commonwealth Flotilla. The big event took place on Saturday, with more than 1,900 sailors participating and the largest assembly of boats in the history of the Clyde.

 

The Royal Yachting Association Scotland, which organised the 19 nautical mile journey from Greenock to Glasgow, estimated around 10,000 spectators attended both of its official spectator sites at the Beacon Arts Centre and the Riverside Museum.

Many more lined the route of the flotilla to catch a glimpse of the 250-strong fleet. The flotilla was headed by the CalMac ferry, Lochinvar, a diesel electric hybrid.

Other boats taking part ranged from small family cruising yachts to more traditional working boats including the VIC32 “Clyde puffer”.

James Stuart, chief executive officer of RYA Scotland said: ‘We are amazed and absolutely thrilled at the success of the Commonwealth Flotilla.

‘We wanted to inject some colour into the Clyde for one weekend in what is probably the most important fortnight in Glasgow’s recent history.

‘We got the sense in the last couple of days that this was going to be a big event but the response that we got from spectators throughout the day has been incredible, and totally beyond our expectations.

‘To accommodate the number of boats and participants RYA Scotland built a pop-up marina in Glasgow city centre, utilising over 1km of pontoons and around 100 volunteers.

 
 
 
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Categories: Boat Show

Dave Marsh: It’s not often that a boat from one of the big four European boatbuilders takes us by surprise. But that’s exactly what happened late in July, during an Motorboat & Yachting test of the new Azimut 50.

 

Like many other mainstream boatbuilders, it seems that Azimut has been unable to sidestep the inexorable drive to produce boats that are ever taller and more voluminous.

So, although Azimut’s design genius Stefano Righini is still the man in charge of styling, the new 50 appeared far bulkier than the sleek Azimut 54 that we had to walk past on our way to test the towering 50.

Out on the water, I’d been expecting the 50’s obvious bulk to produce a boat with less than appealing handling, the aquatic equivalent of an SUV or MPV rather than a finely honed saloon car.

Well, the 50 immediately put paid to my preconception, and dished up as fine an all round ride as I’ve experienced on a mid-size cruising boat.Key to its appeal is the 50’s terrific steering which is (in my subjective opinion) as perfectly weighted as you could wish for on a flybridge cruiser.

The boat turns surprisingly quickly and very precisely, heeling just the right amount into the turn. Yet it never feels flighty or lacking in feedback.It was also noticeable that, as we repeatedly crossed and re-crossed the wake of our 57ft photo boat, the 50 never once performed that little shimmy that boats with less resolute handling often do.

Sadly, that wake was the biggest challenge we encountered, so the 50’s big wave performance remains untested. However, this shaft drive boat felt so impressively solid and firmly planted in the water that I’d be genuinely surprised if the boat doesn’t stand up to heavy weather very well indeed.

As for speed, the 670hp Volvo D11 diesels produced satisfyingly punchy performance all the way up to our recorded top speed of 32.2 knots.Misconception number two was that the interior would be the principal beneficiary of the 50’s obvious volume.

 

Azimut will doubtless point to the full standing headroom that the 50 provides almost all the way around the perimeter of the bed in the owner’s midships cabin.Beyond that benefit, though, I could not detect anything outstanding, and potential owners who plan on cooking on board will have to think very carefully about the limitations of the galley.

Contrary to the prevailing trend, it’s down below, not up in the saloon. And it has few storage areas and extremely limited countertop space.

On deck is where the 50 really shines. Up front, the walk-through foredeck is a huge bonus on a boat this size, adding a long row of comfy seats to the usual sunbed. Side deck access and transit is the safest I’ve seen on this type of boat.

And although the flybridge’s enormity is what hits you first, in practice it’s the excellent practical detailing and the high levels of safety provided by its exceptional depth that make this area so good.

 

See article at Motorboat & Yachting – click here
 
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Categories: Boat test

The Irish Coast Guard is urging people not to go to sea in unsuitable craft, such as inflatables bought from supermarkets.

 

Last month, the Irish Coast Guard attended more than 25 incidents over a few days which involved leisure activities and any one of them could have resulted in disaster and loss of life.

Incidents varied from inflatables being blown out to sea, to people being isolated by the tide and also a notable increase in the use of cheap dinghies with small outboards.

Now, as we’re experiencing ‘a scorcher of a week’, the Coast Guard is renewing its appeal for seafarers to ‘use the right tools for the job’.

Parents and guardians are advised to be vigilant especially where young teenagers are purchasing such equipment.

 
See article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 
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Categories: Accident, On the water

French manufacturer Jeanneau has expanded its Merry Fisher, Leader, Cap Camarat, and Velasco ranges ahead of the new season.

 

Six more Jeanneau models will be added to the French manufacturer’s powerboat range in time for the new season, it has been confirmed.

The Jeanneau Merry Fisher 695, Leader 36, Velasco 43F, Velasco 37F, Cap Camarat 7.5CC and Cap Camarat 7.5WA are all scheduled for a 2015 launch.

As the smallest of the new arrivals, the Merry Fisher 695 is a 23ft multi-use cruiser designed by Centowski & Denert. This four-berth model draws on the larger Merry Fisher 755 for inspiration.

Moving up the range and Jeanneau has added two more Cap Camarat models; the 7.5WA (pictured above) and the 7.5CC.

The former aims for a “distinctly young, dynamic and sporty style” with its American-style cockpit by Sarrazin design, while the latter features a centre console above a new Michael Peters V-shaped hull.

Meanwhile, the Leader 36 will be available in a choice of open and hardtop versions, giving more sundeck sportscruiser choice.

Finally, the Velasco additions will bring two more flybridge layouts to Jeanneau’s premium motor yacht collection.

No prices have been confirmed as of yet, but are likely to range from around £17,000 for the Merry Fisher to upwards of £240,000 for the Velasco.

 

See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 

Yachting & Boating World: Border Force officers who carried out a search on a yacht found it was carrying a reported 2,500kg of cannabis – worth an estimated £7.5 million just 10 miles off the Sussex Coast.

 

HMC Searcher was patrolling the area near Beachy Head on Friday 18th July when it intercepted the suspects’ vessel.

Walter Untermayer, 64, from Austria, and Hermann Josef Deuss, 63, and Willi Heinz Reichling, 56, both from Dusseldorf, Germany, have been arrested and charged with drug offences under the Court of Justice and International Co-operation Act.

Carole Upshall, Border Force regional director said: “Our fleet of cutters operate 24 hours a day responding to intelligence and patrolling the length and breadth of the UK.”

“They play a key role in intercepting and deterring shipments of drugs and other prohibited goods, as well as criminal gangs who attempt to traffic people into the country.”

After appearing at Brighton Magistrates Court on Tuesday, the suspects will remain in custody until the 13th August. The National Crime Agency are conducting a further investigation into the incident.

See article at Yachting & Boating World – click here

 
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Categories: Latest news

2013 proved a record year for jellyfish sightings, and a large number of sightings have already been reported in 2014. A new report by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) and the University of Exeter takes stock of where and when UK jellyfish occur in UK seas for the first time in more than 40 years.


 
The report, published in the Journal of the Marine Biological Association, details over 5,000 reports of jellyfish sightings of eight different species sent to MCS by the British beach going public between 2003 and 2011 for their MCS National Jellyfish Survey.
 
The survey is the largest of its kind in the UK and has been attracting a growing number of jellyfish sightings, with 2013 proving a record year when 1,133 reports were received.

This year is also turning out to be good for jellyfish, with over 500 reports already received by mid-July, only halfway through summer months when most records are received.
 
Dr Peter Richardson, Biodiversity Programme Manager for the MCS, said: ‘Our survey puts jellyfish on the map in the UK.

“In this latest paper we show where and when these species now occur throughout UK coastal waters. ‘he last time the national picture was described was well over four decades ago, so this study provides a very timely update.”

Prof. Brendan Godley of the University of Exeter said: “By taking stock of our jellyfish in this way, we provide an important baseline of information which will help us understand how jellyfish species react to environmental changes that influence our coastal seas, including climate change.”

 

Top 5 jellyfish species
The top five jellyfish species described in the report are summarised below.
Jellyfish species – % of records – Distribution – Season (when most reports received)

  • Moon – 9% – All around the UK – May to September
  • Compass – 19% – Merseyside to Norfolk – June to October
  • Lion’s mane – 18% – North Wales to Sunderland – May to October
  • Blue -15% – SW England and Wales, NE England and Scotland – May to Sept
  • Barrel – 10% – Hotspots in Welsh and Scottish waters – reported throughout the year

The other species are the mauve stinger, Portuguese Man of War (close relative of jellyfish) and the by the wind sailor (also a close relative of jellyfish), which together make up approximately 10% of survey records and are not recorded every year.
 
The survey depends on the generous support of an army of over 3,500 jelly-spotting volunteers, who have been diligently sending in their sightings throughout the year every year since 2003.

Dr Richardson added: “Our paper shows that publicly driven, collective citizen-science can help us understand our environment on a scale that would otherwise be unaffordable.”

This year MCS has so far received reports of seven of the eight species, including barrel, moon, blue, compass, lion’s mane, mauve stingers and by the wind sailors from around the UK.

As the summer progresses we can expect to see many more jellyfish reported to the MCS survey, and so far barrel jellyfish have made up the majority of reports (see table below), with most of these reported from South West England and Wales.
 
Prof. Godley added: ‘The remarkable number of barrel jellyfish reported from South West England this year is quite unusual, and at odds with what our report describes, previous years have seen hotspots for this species in West Welsh and Scottish waters.

“We’re not sure why, but the very mild winter probably meant more adults survived at depth, which will have returned to the surface in spring as waters warmed up.”

“This year’s strange barrel jellyfish results highlight the importance of running the survey year in and year out to track these unusual events and discover if they turn into trends.”

Dr Richardson said: “We still know relatively little about jellyfish, but given the economic impacts that large numbers of jellyfish can have on tourism, fishing, aquaculture and even power generation, we can’t afford to ignore them.”

How to take part in the jellyfish survey
The full-colour MCS jellyfish photo-ID guide can be downloaded from www.mcsuk.org, where jellyfish encounters can also be reported in detail online.

Survey participants should always remember to look carefully at jellyfish before reporting them, but should not touch them as some species have a powerful sting.
 
See full article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 
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Categories: Accident, Latest news

The marine business network, Gosport Marine Scene, has launched its new website at www.gosportmarinescene.com. A one-stop shop for yachtsmen and visiting boat owners.

 

The aim is to provide yachtsmen, visiting boat owners and businesses with a one-click route to all the facilities and information they need in the thriving marine town of Gosport.

Using the latest in responsive design, the site can be accessed on mobiles, tablets and laptops with full definition and detail.

The site offers practical information, from a live tidal and meteorology feed, repair and emergency services, to information about the port authority regulations for navigating the harbour entrance.

The berthing and marina contacts are listed, along with the huge diversity of specialist services on the sheltered western shore of Portsmouth Harbour.

With the boat taken care of it’s the crew’s turn. Whether they are looking for a good meal after a long crossing, a well-earned drink, a haircut or a bed that doesn’t roll, the website and its links show where to find them.

Gosport’s sheltered location directly adjacent to the Solent makes it excellent as a permanent base or a jumping-off point for longer voyages and races.

The town boasts more than 2,400 berths and moorings and a 24-mile waterfront ringed with marinas, slips, yards, riggers and sailmakers.

Plus a wide range of chain and independent shops, plus four town centre supermarkets a few hundred metres from the waterfront.

‘A valuable tool’
Ben Lippiett of Haslar Marina, said: “Visiting yachtsmen to Gosport now have a valuable tool at their fingertips whether they need an overnight stop at one of our town’s marinas, or a more lengthy stay.”

“They can find excellent dining in our waterfront restaurants and unique fast-food outlets and our wealth of naval history at the Submarine Museum and Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower”.

“Just across the water in Portsmouth are transport links to London, as well as shopping for brands and exotic nightlife in Gunwharf Quays.”

 
See full article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

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Categories: Boat industry, Equipment

Wanda Group is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Sunseeker Group. Sunseeker has announced that, after five years’ service Stewart McIntyre is stepping down as Managing Director.

 

Stewart McIntyre will leave the Sunseeker group at the end of July 2014, to pursue other interests.

In August 2013, Wanda Group acquired 91.81% of shares in Sunseeker International Limited. Wanda Group, owned by billionaire Wang Jianlin, who was named China’s richest person by Forbes Magazine in 2013, is a Beijing headquartered conglomerate with commercial properties, culture & entertainments, luxury hotels and department stores across China, Europe and the US.

By 2013, the company had total assets of USD$62.8billion and has been ambitious in global expansion in recent years.

Wanda Group has now formed a special board committee with responsibility for the selection and appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Sunseeker Group.

Sunseeker will also be appointing two independent non-executive directors to strengthen Sunseeker’s operating model and to bring further strategic expertise to the Sunseeker Board and thereby ensure the continued future success of Sunseeker’s business and its global brand.

In the interim, Wanda Group has endorsed the appointment of Robert Braithwaite CBE as Acting President of Sunseeker.

Mr Robert Braithwaite, who founded Sunseeker in 1968, will now work alongside Sunseeker’s Executive Team and Wanda Group’s post merger integration team, who will manage the business, pending the appointment of a new CEO.

‘Not just a boat manufacturer’
Robert Braithwaite, on behalf of the executive team, said ‘Sunseeker is not just a boat manufacturer; it is a family and a global brand.

“We are proud of our heritage, but as a company, Sunseeker has never stood still and we will work very hard together with Wanda Group to further strengthen our leading market position, through cutting edge innovation, world class services and a global distribution network.”

“We have huge confidence that the team in Poole, as well as the wider distributor and supplier network, will pull together as a team to take Sunseeker forward to a successful future.”

Sunseeker launched its flagship 155 Yacht (the largest private motor yacht built in the UK) in April 2014 and will soon be ‘announcing a market leading new model program for 2015 and beyond’.

 

Read full article at Practical Boat Owner – click here

 
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Categories: Boat industry

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