Practical Boat Owner: A single-handed French sailor was rescued six miles off the Wicklow coast after making a distress call.
Wicklow RNLI all-weather lifeboat launched at 2.30pm yesterday after the Coast Guard received a marine VHF radio distress signal from a yacht
The lifeboat was alongside the casualty thirty minutes after launching. Rescue 116, the Coast Guard helicopter was also tasked to the incident. The helicopter remained overhead while lifeboat volunteer Ciaran Doyle was transferred onto the yacht, to assist the sailor with hauling an anchor and preparing a towline.
Weather conditions at the time were sea state rough with southerly wind force 5/6. Visibility was good.
With a towline established the ten metre yacht was taken back to Wicklow harbour. Due to the conditions at the time, the journey took more than 90 minutes as the line parted on three occasions.
The yacht was safely alongside the south quay by 5pm.Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat spokesman Tommy Dover said. ‘Our Coxswain Nick Keogh displayed great boat handling skills this afternoon in challenging conditions, while safely transferring a crewmember onto the yacht to assist the lone sailor.’
This was the second callout over the weekend. On Saturday morning during the Round Ireland Yacht Race, Wicklow RNLI Helm Vinnie Mulvihill was busy preparing the inshore lifeboat for exercise. He heard a person on the East pier shouting that someone was in the water.
Quick thinking Vinnie left the boat and entered the water to assist the women after she slipped and fell in while going ashore from a moored boat.
Vinnie brought the women alongside a nearby boat and with the help of the occupants; she was taken out of the water. The woman was brought to the lifeboat station and assessed by first aider Carol Flahive.
No further medical assistance was required. She left the station none the worse from her ordeal after a cup of tea and changing into dry clothes.
Yachting Boating World: The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has found that “poor bridge team management and navigational practices” contributed to the grounding of the Hamburg cruise ship.
The vessel was trying to enter Tobermory Bay when the accident happened. No-one was injured, but the Hamburg needed three months in dry docks for repairs.
The investigation by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) found that having been unable to enter Tobermory Bay on arrival, the Hamburg’s passage plan was not re-evaluated or amended.
“Combined with poor bridge team management and navigational practices, this resulted in the vessel running into danger and grounding,” said the MAIB report.
The Hamburg could not enter Tobermory Bay as there were already two other cruise liners. The investigation also found irregularities in the crew’s response to the accident.
“Despite the loud noise and vibration resulting from the grounding, the bridge
team did not initiate the post-grounding checklist, no musters were held and neither the
vessel’s managers nor any shore authorities were notified of the accident,” stated the report.
Despite no “appropriate post-grounding actions” being taken, the Hamburg proceeded to Tobermory Bay. Here, an “ill-considered and poorly executed attempt” was made to anchor the cruise ship.
This was before a full assessment of the damage had been conducted and before “any of the port, coastal state or company” had been informed of the accident.
“This (attempt to anchor) had to be aborted to avoid a second grounding when Hamburg dragged its anchor,” said the report.
The passenger vessel was then taken back out to the open sea with unknown damage to its structure. It diverted to Belfast where a dive survey revealed the extent of the damage.
This included a cropped port propeller and damage to the hull plating on the port side and the bottom of the cruise ship.
The MAIB found the decision to sail for Belfast “without first developing a plan with the vessel’s senior officers, technical managers and the relevant authorities ashore” was “inappropriate and incurred additional unnecessary risks”.
The report also stated that the 58-year-old master of the Hamburg, Captain Joao Manuel Fernandes Simoes “did not demand a high standard of navigational practices from his officers which resulted in a weak practices amongst the bridge team”.
Simoes was subsequently prosecuted by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency for the failure of passage plan under SOLAS and failure to report an accident contrary to the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012.
He pleaded guilty and was fined a total of £813.
The operators of the Bahamas-registered Hamburg, V-Ships, conducted its own investigation into the groundings. As a result, it has increased training and reviewed its navigational practices, emergency contingency plan grounding checklist and passage planning.
The MAIB noted that all parties to the incident had taken appropriate action, and it did not need to make any recommendations.
Yachting Boating World: The couple remain in a stable condition in hospital after their yacht hit power lines on the Isle of Harris, Western Isles in Scotland.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) received a call just after 3pm on 12 June from the Scottish Ambulance Service requiring assistance.
Coastguard shore teams from Tarbert and Scalpay responded, helping paramedics in getting one of the casualities from the yacht into an ambulance.
The couple were taken to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, Lewis, where they are said to be in a stable condition.
A spokesman for the MCA said the yacht was between two power cables.
Engineers from Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution were called in to remove the mast and make the area safe.
A spokesman for the electric company said: “Our engineers attended Ardhasaig, where the mast of a yacht had struck our overhead line. The boat was being moved with its mast fully erect and struck the line.”
He added: “Industry regulations state that the minimum height of power lines should be 5.8 metres across roads and paths, the line that was struck was 7.3 metres from the ground. In order for our engineers to extricate the mast from the line, the power was turned off for approximately one hour.”
Practical Boat Owner: One yachtsman was killed, another lost overboard and three rescued from the 65ft yacht Platino, in extreme conditions off the coast of New Zealand.
Yesterday, the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) was alerted at 11.20am that one man had been killed and another man knocked overboard from the 20m Platino, which sustained serious rigging damage in winds of up to 75km/h (40 knots).
Sea conditions were described as ‘extremely dangerous’ and ‘too hazardous to be on deck’. The search area is out of range to all but fixed wing aircraft.
A search by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) got under way yesterday for the missing crewman, aged 63, who is believed to have been swept overboard after being hit by the boom in high winds, which later caused the yacht’s rigging to collapse before midday yesterday.
The body of the man who died remained on board – as his fellow crew tried to secure the rigging and the mast that was drifting alongside the yacht.
The RCCNZ kept in contact with the three remaining crew overnight via satellite phone.
The container ship Southern Lily re-routed and a rescue line was used to help get the trio safely on board around 3pm today.
Meanwhile, an RNZAF P3 Orion resumed searching today for the missing sailor.
The aircraft subsequently took position above the two vessels later this morning, to provide support and communications during the rescue of the three crew from Platino.
Practical Boat Owner: A solo sailor called for RNLI assistance twice in 24 hours after his yacht became grounded on the rocks and when he managed to refloat, a damaged propeller left him drifting helplessly towards Yarmouth Pier.
The single-handed skipper, had run aground on Hamstead Ledge rocks in the western Solent during Friday afternoon.
As the tide dropped, the yacht heeled over steeply with the result that the skipper could not deploy his anchor in preparation for refloating.
He called for assistance at 6.30pm and the lifeboat went to his aid. The small rigid inflatable Y boat (RIB) was launched and deployed the anchor for him. It was estimated that he would refloat around 1.30am.
At 3.30am on Saturday morning, the lifeboat was called again to Wallybird II.
Although the skipper had managed to pull himself clear of the rocks as his yacht floated, it was only then that he discovered that his propeller had been damaged and he was unable to manoeuvre.
There was little or no wind so he was also unable to sail and was drifting helplessly towards Yarmouth Pier. The lifeboat reached him just before 4am and took him in tow into Yarmouth where he arrived safely at 4.30am.
Yachting Boating World: The 2016 Southampton Boat Show returns in September with world and UK launches, new brands and a new layout. Tickets are now on sale.
The 10-day event will showcase thousands of boats, brands and equipment and will feature the very latest world launches from powerboats to sail.
Confirmed for a world launch at the show are the Oyster 675, the Greenline 36, the Spirit 47CR, the Cormate Utility 23 R and the X4 and X6 from X-Yachts.
The Antares 7 and Antares 8, Atlantis 43, Azimut 55S, Elling E6 from Q Marine (Poole), J/11S from Key Yachting, the Dehler 34, Fairline Yachts’ Targa 53 OPEN and its Squadron 65 HardTop and Charles Watson’s RM 1270 will have UK debuts.
New brands already confirmed for this year’s show include Cormate and Waterspoor.
Following unprecedented demand from exhibitors for undercover space, a new show layout will also be revealed for 2016.
Ocean Hall and Windward Hall will be merged with an additional 550 square metres of space added to create a new look Ocean Hall for 2016.
Enhancements to the layout will also see Beneteau and Jeanneau move from their historical space on the land to a much bigger display on the marina.
In total, Beneteau will be bringing 19 boats and Jeanneau 22 boats across their sail and power ranges.
Also exhibiting for the first time will be Monte Carlo Yachts who will be showcasing the MCY 65.
There will also be plenty of opportunities for visitors to get out on the water and experience dinghy sailing, power boating or taking a ride on a RIB.
These free attractions include:
- On the Water’s “Get Afloat”, supported by the team at Rockley: a tailor made attraction offering visitors aged 8-16 the chance to discover dinghy sailing and Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP);
- “Try-a-Boat” sessions from On the Water to allow visitors to experience being out on the water on a varied selection of vessels;
- “Wet Wheels”, a 9m Cheetah Catamaran that has been specially adapted for wheelchair access. Powered by two of Suzuki’s flagship V6 300hp outboard engines, it is capable of driving at 40 knots;
- The magnificent Artemis tall ship will be taking centre stage on the marina, with visitors being able to climb aboard.
Other attractions will include:
- Bumper Boats in the arena for the younger visitors;
- A number of spectacular air display’s over the marina;
- A festival stage in Solent Park with live music, talks from industry experts and fashion shows across the 10-day event;
- The Global Challenge Sailing Experience on a 72ft round the world ocean race yacht;
- The VIP Platinum Experience which includes a trip out on a luxury motor yacht.
Practical Boat Owner: Two charged after cannabis worth thousands is found on a yacht at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne.
Two men who were on the vessel were arrested and are due to appear before Brighton magistrates this morning.
Anthony Keiran Poyser, 28, and Harrison Law, 21, both of no fixed address, are each charged with being jointly concerned in the improper importation of cannabis to the United Kingdom.
Cannabis is a class B controlled drug.
Chief Inspector Emma Brice, Eastbourne district police commander, said: ‘I am aware of the concern about the security of smaller ports and harbours around Britain’s coastline.
‘I would like to reassure people that police are alert to the situation and will respond whenever circumstances demand.’
Practical Boat Owner: Coastal fatality figures released today by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show the number of deaths at the UK coast reached a five-year high in 2015, with 168 people losing their lives.
The number of near-fatal incidents was higher still, with the RNLI’s UK lifeboat crews and lifeguards saving 385 lives in 2015, according to the organisation’s incident data.
The figures are released as the charity enters the third year of its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which aims to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024.
The campaign is targeted at adult men, who account for most incidents. Last year saw an increase in the number of men losing their lives at the coast. Between 2011 and 2014 men have accounted for 75% of coastal deaths but, in 2015, this increased to 84%.
Around half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water. Of the 168 deaths last year, more than half (52%) did not intend to get wet – people taking part in activities such as coastal walking, running, climbing or angling.
Coastal walking and running accounted for 21% of last year’s coastal deaths.
A father’s story
Phil Bindon’s son Mike was lost at sea in 2014, aged 23, after being swept in by an unexpected wave. Phil and his daughters Katie and Jenny are sharing the story of their personal tragedy, to warn others of the power and unpredictability of the water. Phil says:
‘Mike and his friend were at the coast at Polzeath. A freak wave caught Mike and swept him into the water. The lifeboats and helicopter were out searching for hours. I just wanted Mike back home. It was very hard as a parent to know that he was out there somewhere and there was nothing I could do about getting him back.
‘Mike’s body has never been found. It breaks my heart. No one expects to lose a child. An accident like this is a tragedy that I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through. I want people to learn from Mike’s death and understand how dangerously unpredictable the sea can be. Accidents like this can happen to anyone.’
The main dangers the RNLI is warning people about while at the coast are cold water, slips and falls, rip currents and waves.
James Millidge, RNLI coastal safety manager, says: ‘People need to treat the water with respect – it’s powerful and unpredictable. Each year RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards save hundreds of lives but, sadly, not everyone can be saved. Over 160 lives are lost at the UK coast each year and the real tragedy of the situation is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.
‘Cold water is a real killer. People often don’t realise how cold our seas can be – even in summer months the sea temperature rarely exceeds 12oc, which is low enough to trigger cold water shock. If you enter the water suddenly at that temperature, you’ll start gasping uncontrollably, which can draw water into your lungs and cause drowning. The coldness also numbs you, leaving you helpless – unable to swim or shout for help.
‘The fact that over half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water suggests people are also not taking enough care along the coastline itself. We’re warning people to stay away from cliff edges, particularly where there is slippery, unstable or uneven ground; stick to marked paths and keep an eye on the water – watch out for unexpected waves which can catch you out and sweep you into the water.
‘If you’re planning to get into the water be aware that, even if it looks calm on the surface, there can be strong rip currents beneath the surface, which can quickly drag you out to sea. The sea is powerful and can catch out even the strongest and most experienced swimmers.’
Double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell is supporting the campaign. He says: ‘UK coastline is beautiful and should be enjoyed – but it’s really important that people treat the water with respect. From personal experience I know how powerful and unpredictable the sea can be. A seemingly calm situation can quickly turn into the exact opposite. We’re urging people to be aware of the danger.’
The charity is asking people to visit RNLI.org/RespectTheWater where they will find information on coastal hazards, how to keep themselves safe, and what to do should they or someone else end up in trouble in the water. On social media search #RespectTheWater.
Practical Boat Owner: One of the key announcements at the recent Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster Instructors’ Conference was that, from 2017, there will be a single RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate.
This brings the RYA in line with other international sailing schemes who do not differentiate between the certificates obtained when you learn to sail in different areas of the world.
Richard Falk, the RYA’s director of training and qualifications said: ‘In simple terms the current arrangement is that if you undertake an RYA Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper course in waters designated as being tidal then you a) learn about tides (both in theory and in practice) and b) receive a certificate that indicates you have undertaken the training in tidal conditions.
‘If you undertake the same courses in waters designated to be non – tidal you a) learn nothing about tides (either in theory or practically) and b) are issued with a non – tidal certificate.’
Richard says there are three key flaws with the current process:
1) Differentiating between what is tidal and what is non – tidal is not a simple black and white question. Trying to categorise waters across the entire world where tidal ranges vary from 17 metres down to .1 of a metre with every point along that tidal continuum being covered is simply not feasible. What constitutes a tidal region? Even our own training centres cannot agree on this with some suggesting that anything less than a 4 metre tidal range does not count and others suggesting 1 metre is perfectly adequate.
2) The pattern of boating has changed. Many people now choose to undertake a course in one region but then go on to charter or cruise in a wide range of regions around the world – some of those are tidal and some are not. Therefore, it seems to make sense that everyone who undertakes one of the two courses outlined above should get at least an understanding of the theory of tide, and where possible also gain some experience in tide from a practical viewpoint. Under the new arrangements EVERY person undertaking either a Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper course will come away with at least a theoretical understanding of tide – ensuring they are better prepared for boating in a wider range of locations than is currently the case.
3) Customer feedback is that the current system of parallel schemes is confusing and irrelevant. Whilst some RYA schools feel strongly about this issue the feedback from customers is that they find the need for two schemes and such labelling as confusing and unnecessary. Under the new arrangements the situation will be clearer to the customer whilst ensuring that more people than ever before will have at least a basic understanding of tides.
Richard added: ‘We have about 600 RYA schools to which this tidal / non – tidal designation applies. Of these we have had strong concerns voiced by about 10 schools, all of which are Solent based.
‘Sadly some of these have resorted to misinformation and misinterpretation in order to try and garner support for a reversal of this decision. The matter has been discussed over the last three years at YMI conferences and with a large number of schools both in the UK and overseas, not to mention with students and charter companies.
‘The overall sentiment is that this is a very positive initiative and one that is long overdue.
‘The key message is that nothing is being removed from any syllabus. In fact, we are requiring schools in non – tidal regions to now begin to teach the theory of tides. I cannot for the life of me understand how this can be a bad thing.’
Yachting Monthly: A new offshore wind farm at Blyth, off the coast of Northumberland, has been approved and will be complete by the end of 2017.
Work for the EDF Energy project has already begun onshore, and offshore work will start in 2017 to install five turbines with a total of 41.5MW capacity. It is anticipated that the turbines will provide enough low carbon electricity to power 33 000 homes. The project has permission for a maximum total generating capacity of almost 100 MW. More turbines will be added at a later date.
The power generated by the wind farm will be supplied to an electricity substation at Blyth for transmission to the National Grid. At its peak there will be around 200 people working on the project.
The Blyth Offshore wind project will be built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. It plans to complete construction of the first five turbines in 2017.
The windfarm will use state-of-the-art ‘gravity base’ foundation, which will be large pre-fabriacted concrete structures that will be built on the Tyne, floated into location and sunk.
Matthieu Hue, EDF Energy Renewables CEO, said:
‘As a company, we already have a strong presence in the North East, in low carbon electricity generation and serving customers including our first offshore wind farm at Teesside so we’re pleased to be able to add another project to our portfolio in the region. We are delighted that the gravity based foundations will be made in Newcastle. The Port of Blyth will be used for operations and maintenance and the blades for the turbines will be made on the Isle of Wight.’