Yachting Boating World: The authorities in Queensland have announced that they have identified the ship that spilled tonnes of oil on the Great Barrier Reef.
Up to 15 tonnes of oil were spilled in the waters off Cape Upstart in July 2015.
It subsequently washed up on the shores of mainland beaches and islands north of Townsville. The clean up took weeks and cost $1.5 million.
The authorities identified 17 ships which were in the area at the time of the incident.
Many of them were on international voyages. All of them denied responsibility.
So, a major joint-agency investigation was launched. It included the Maritime Safety Queensland and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Now after a year, the Ports Minister, Mark Bailey has announced that the authorities know which ship is the culprit.
“It was a difficult investigation, as the ship believed to be responsible is foreign registered with a crew of foreign nationals,” Bailey told the Brisbane Times.
“This is an extremely complex legal process involving both Australian and international maritime law and we don’t want to jeopardise the case by identifying the suspect vessel while the evidence is being fully considered,” he continued.
The minister said the government has vowed to “relentlessly pursue anyone wilfully or negligently polluting our coastal waters, especially the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park area.”
He added that the investigation demonstrated the government’s “resolve” on this matter.
“We will ensure Queenslanders are not out of pocket for this incident and will seek full cost recovery through the Australian Maritime Safety Authority either out of the offending ship’s insurance or from a National Plan fund set aside for these occurrences,” announced Bailey.
All the evidence has now been passed to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
If there is a prosecution, the operators of the overseas-registered, foreign-crewed ship could face state and federal fines of up to $17m.
Yachting Boating World: The Suffolk-based luxury boat builder, Spirit Yachts, is expanding following an upturn in orders. YBW spoke to the firm’s managing director, Nigel Stuart about the company’s plans.
The luxury boat builder, which created the stunning 54-foot 007 yacht, Spirit, which featured in the Bond film Casino Royale, is based at Ipswich Haven Marina in Suffolk.
The company currently employs 40 people, and will also be recruiting up to 15 new boat builders as part of its expansion plans.
Spirit’s managing director, Nigel Stuart, said it will be looking to employ new staff locally and via boat building colleges in the UK, as well as worldwide.
He doesn’t see Britain’s recent decision to leave the EU as a problem for recruitment: “We will continue to search for highly skilled boat builders through our usual channels,” he explained.
“We suspect it will have little influence on finding the right people to join the team, especially as the impact of Brexit is still unknown and probably won’t come into effect for a few years yet,” said Stuart.
This expansion comes as sales increase, especially for large yachts. Spirit Yachts has also just been shortlisted in the Special Yacht category in the European Yacht of the Year Award for its Spirit 47CR.
“Over the last year we have seen an increase in sales and prospective interest,” explained Stuart.
“We have recently secured orders for larger yachts, which require more build space. The new facility will have rolling doors large enough to bring yachts in and out with their keels on, which will also allow us to offer more maintenance work on modern classic yachts.”
Stuart said that although the Spirit customer base has largely remained the same, it has expanded its portfolio to meet demand.
“Our clients are all looking for a timeless yet high performance yacht that will not date. As demand has increased and our customers’ criteria varies more and more, we have developed our portfolio to offer a wider range of sailing and power boats,” he said.
“We now offer the Classic Spirit yachts, Deckhouse designs, a new cruising range and power boats from 35ft to 130ft,” added Stuart.
Work on the state-of-the-art yacht build facility at the yard will start mid-August.
The additional space will house production mezzanines and a mechanical testing area.
It will also allow Spirit to double the size of its existing lamination table, increasing the number of ringframes that can be built simultaneously.
With access via a 7.5m x 8m rolling door, the facility will allow Spirit to work on yachts up to 150 feet long with their keels on.
The vast entrance will also permit refit and repair work on existing modern classics with their keels on, meaning all projects will be protected from the elements.
The new yard will comprise LED lighting, modern heating systems, and efficient insulation and extraction. The additional floor space will also allow Spirit Yachts to increase capacity, efficiency and flexibility.
Stuart said Spirit Yachts will continue to strengthen its customer base worldwide through attending events and shows.
“The yard expansion will also allow us to develop the refits section of the business, which provides our existing owners with maintenance support and gives us the flexibility to take on other marine renovation work,” he added.
Yachting Boating World: Hastings RNLI and the coastguard were put on standby following reports that three girls were in the sea playing PokémonGo. They were fully clothed.
A member of the public contacted the police following concerns that the sea was “quite rough” and the girls were all fully clothed.
Officers paged the volunteer crew of the Hastings RNLI inshore lifeboat, along with the coastguard. Both teams were put on standby.
However, they were stood down after the police spoke to the girls and established they were playing PokémonGo, a mobile phone game.
A spokesperson for Sussex Police said: “The caller was concerned as the sea was quite rough and the girls appeared to be fully clothed.”
“Officers attended and established that the girls were looking for Pokémon. They were advised not to go into the water,” said the spokesperson.
Earlier this month, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a warning after a group of young people took a boat without permission to hunt the virtual creatures.
The boat was later found abandoned in New Brighton marine lake.
Wirral Coastguard Rescue Team and the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service were both called out in the early hours of the morning to respond to the incident.
This latest shout on 27 July has prompted Hastings RNLI to issue a reminder about the dangers of playing PokémonGo close to the water.
Speaking to the Hastings and St Leonards Observer, the coxswain of Hastings Lifeboat, Steve Warne, said: “We are asking people to please have a look at the RNLI Respect the Water Campaign.”
“It’s got lots of information about water safety and can be found on our Twitter and Facebook pages and the RNLI main website.”
Yachting Boating World: The Clipper Round the World Race fleet will return to where it all started this Saturday, when the yachts sail past Tower Bridge and back to St Katharine Docks.
The 12 70-foot ocean racers will parade up the River Thames, much to the delight of the thousands of Clipper fans who are expected to turn out for the event.
The crew will return in spectacular style and pageantry, including live commentary, big screens and a main stage, ready to host the final celebrations of this tenth edition race.
Following emotional reunions with proud family members and friends, the winners will then take to the podium for their much deserved prizes.
Schedule of Parade of Sail on 30 July.
- 0719 Fleet arrives at the QE2 Bridge at Dartford.
- 0900 Fleet passes the Millennium Dome.
- 0912 Fleet passes Greenwich Observatory.
- 0930 Fleet passes Canary Wharf Pier.
- 0945 Feet is scheduled to arrive at Tower Bridge. The yachts will sail under its iconic archway before sailing back out again.
- 1035 Teams will sail into St Katharine Docks in groups of four in reverse overall standing order.
- 1250 The winning team is expected to sail into St Katharine Docks.
- 1300 Prize giving on the main stage.
Yachting Boating World: Five women have set a new world record after becoming the first ever all-female crew to row the Atlantic Ocean from west to east.
The team set the record on 26 July at 0549 UTC when they crossed the line at Bishop Rock Lighthouse near the Isles of Scilly.
They rowed the 3,000 mile journey in 48 days, 13 hours, 49 minutes and 9 seconds.
The crew left New York on 7 June. Skipper Guin Batten, Molly Brown, Alex Holt, Mary Sutherland and Gilly Mara have now landed at Falmouth, Cornwall.
Molly Brown has also set her own record – at 20-years-old, the oceanographer student is now the youngest woman to have rowed the Atlantic Ocean.
26 July Five women are about to enter the record books after a 3,000 mile journey rowing across the Atlantic.
The crew of the Liberty of Essex are expected to reach the Bishop Rock Lighthouse near the Isles of Scilly on 26 July.
They are scheduled to arrive at their destination – Falmouth – sometime between 8 and 11am on 27 July.
The women started their journey from New York on 7 June.
On board are 49-year-old Guin Batten, who won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and 20-year-old oceanographer university student Molly Brown, who will become the youngest woman to have rowed the Atlantic.
Making up the rest of the crew are Alex Holt, a 26-year-old water-ski and snow ski instructor, 34-year-old Gilly Mara, one of the fastest ultra-kayakers in the UK who came into the sport after breaking her neck in a climbing accident, and offshore sailor and racer Mary Sutherland, 36, who has several Fastnet and Atlantic crossings under her belt.
Assisting the crew on-shore is ocean rower Charlie Pitcher. His company, Rannoch Adventures, built and supplied the rowing boat. Pitcher was also responsible for placing the advert looking for crew to undertake the challenge.
He appointed Guin Batten as the skipper. The rest of the crew were selected over “Hell weekend”.
YBW talked to the crew as they neared the end of their world record attempt.
How were you selected to take part in the record attempt?
Final selection for the Rannoch Women’s Challenge crew comprised 26 hours of a mixture of power testing, a six-hour endurance task, an undefined overnight trek, a ‘sleep-where-you-can’, a pre-dawn 30 minute row and a panel interview. This was done all with the aim to ‘see’ the real personalities and team interactions shine through. All the while, Louise Carey (rower and SAS Are You Tough Enough contender) and Polly Gough (rower, sailor and medic) looked on watching every move, and listening to every word.
Did you all get along immediately or did you have to work to become a crew?
It has most definitely been something that the crew have worked on once final selection was made at the beginning of the year. Training and preparation has also included specific team building coaching to help them on their way.
Yachting Boating World: Lock 5 on the Droitwich Junction Canal is now open after a man died. His narrowboat sank while going through the canal lock.
The emergency services were called to Lock 5 on the morning of 25 July following reports of the sinking.
The lock was drained by crews from the Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service. Despite attempts to resuscitate the man at the scene, he was pronounced dead.
An elderly woman, believed to be the man’s mother, was also on board the boat but managed to get off before it sank.
She was assessed by paramedics from the West Midlands Ambulance Service, but was found to be unharmed.
The narrowboat has now been removed from lock 5, and the navigation has been re-opened. It had been closed since 13.00 on 25 July.
The Canal and River Trust, which looks after the Droitwich Junction Canal, said it would be looking into the incident to see if any lessons could be learnt.
“We’re deeply saddened to hear that someone’s lost their life on the canal, and our thoughts are with the family at this very difficult time,” said a trust spokesman.
“We’re in contact with the emergency services to try to understand exactly what has happened, and will do anything we can to help as they conduct their investigation,” continued the spokesman.
“Incidents like this are rare, and there have been no indications as yet that there’s a fault with the canal, however we’ll be looking at whether there’s anything we can do to prevent this kind of thing happening again in future.”
Fire crews from Droitwich, Malvern and Evesham all attended the incident.
The Canal and River Trust, the Midlands Air Ambulance and the Hazardous Area Response Team also attended the scene.
Yachting Boating World: An investigation is now underway after a boat exploded in a marina in Ibiza, leaving two people in a critical condition in hospital.
Five people were on board at the time on the incident on 24 July.
According to witnesses, the 23-foot boat had just refuelled when the explosion happened.
A woman is reported to have suffered burns to 90 per cent of her body, while a 36-year-old man has 80 per cent burns. Both are receiving treatment at a specialist burns unit in Valencia.
Another man suffered a burnt arm and two other people were treated for smoke inhalation.
A jet-ski was also engulfed in flames when the explosion happened. Firefighters were called and put out the blaze.
The Ports de Balears has opened an investigation to find out the cause of the explosion.
All the victims are believed to have come from Valencia.
Yachting Boating World: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave their support to Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team as they took podium position in Portsmouth on 23-24 July.
Sir Ben Ainslie’s team put on an incredible performance on both Saturday and Sunday and did enough to hold off USA Team Oracle from the top of the leader board.
Land Rover BAR won three of the six races in Portsmouth, with Oracle Team USA taking two and Groupama Team France taking one.
Speaking after the win, skipper Sir Ben said: “It was a real team work day, these boats are really hard to handle on such a short course. The guys did an incredible job with the boat handling and that’s what really got us out of some of those tough situations.”
He continued: “Full credit to the team and everyone back at the Camber at the base, we’ve got a hundred odd people there, designing and building boats and components for the Cup next year, and I think it’s a big moment for them as well to know that we can go out and win these events.”
Trimmer Nick Hutton, added: “It was awesome to win at home, it’s obviously the key event of our year. It is like Wembley for us.”
“The big picture is we have taken the lead in the World Series, for us as a new team it’s fantastic to go up against the established teams like Oracle, Artemis and Team New Zealand. It’s great moving forward into the future,” he stressed.
Grinder Freddie Carr said the win was an important step.
“We are in a massive phase of our Cup campaign at the moment, going into Bermuda next year and the lift this gives to everyone at the base – it’s huge,” he stressed.
“We are putting a real line in the sand for where our sailing team is at and our test boats are going really well. We are front-footing it right now it’s a great time for us,” continued Carr.
Land Rover BAR are now series’ leaders, with just one point separating them from Jimmy Spithill and his team.
There are just two events left in 2016. The next will take place in Toulon, France on 8-11 September.
Yachting Boating World: Ahead of the America’s Cup action in Portsmouth this weekend, Sir Ben Ainslie has already had his first win! He and his wife, Georgie Thompson have welcomed their first child.
Sir Ben Ainslie and his wife, radio and television presenter Georgie Thompson, have welcomed the arrival of their first child. The baby girl has been named Bellatrix.
The news was broken by Sir Ben’s racing team, Land Rover BAR on their Twitter feed on the morning of 21 July.
The team’s Twitter hashtag #BringTheCupHome was temporarily changed to #BringTheBabyHome.
The arrival of Bellatrix Ainslie comes just days before the start of the America’s Cup World Series at Portsmouth.
Land Rover BAR will be hoping to repeat their success last year on home ground.
1 March Sir Ben Ainslie says he expects 2016 to be “a hugely enjoyable year on both a personal and a professional level,” and there’s one tiny reason for all the happiness.
Writing in the Telegraph newspaper, Ainslie announced that he and television presenter Georgie Thompson are expecting their first child this summer.
In an update that also covered the America’s Cup skipper’s recent win in the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) event in Oman last weekend, Ainslie was ebullient.
“Firstly, I have some exciting news. My wife Georgie and I are expecting our first child this summer. It is a big moment for us both and we could not be happier.”
Ainslie went on to talk about his thrill at winning the ACWS event and beating Oracle Team USA to the post in a close competition.
The America’s Cup captain said his goal was to prove to fans that British racing belongs at the top of the world stage alongside teams like the USA and New Zealand who currently lead the ACWS standings after three events.
Ainslie also put the pressure on Giles Scott to bring home the gold medal for Britain in the Rio Olympics this summer, saying he has a personal interest in Scott’s campaign, “since we have had that medal in British hands since 2000 when Iain Percy first won it.”
Ainslie called Giles a “hugely talented sailor” and said he had been integral to the team’s first win in the ACWS, saying the pair’s relationship both on the water and off had been improving since tensions arose over a competition to race for Britain in the run up to the 2012 London Olympics.
With the America’s Cup in Bermuda just over a year away, Ainslie said the team’s second test boat, T2, was back on the water undergoing trials after suffering damage in December.
Ainslie also said he has high hopes for the future of British sailing, with the Land Rover BAR Academy aiming to prepare a team of young sailors to compete in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in 2017.
Yachting Boating World: GetMyBoat now has 58,000 boats for rent in 169 countries. See the celebrity yachts it has on its books which are available for rent – you only have to worry about finding the cash!
Since it started in January 2013, the company has rented tens of thousands of boats for holidays and special occasions including photoshoots, birthdays and even burials at sea.
GetMyBoat aims to let owners of every type of boat, from kayaks to sailboats to motorboats, to post, free, their watercraft for rent or charter for free.
It also offers its own rental insurance programme to make sure owners and renters are covered. Check out the celebrity yachts on its books.
It’s undoubtable that AirBnB has changed the way people book accommodation when travelling, and the same concept has now been launched for yachts and boats.
The clever people at GetMyBoat, the biggest boat and yacht rental on the market, have come up with an ingenious idea.
Its new feature SleepAboard is a very similar concept to AirBnB, where owners can rent out their homes, or in this case their watercraft.
“Sleep Aboard is a boat-and-breakfast-type experience where travelers can stay aboard owners’ boats without leaving the dock.”, states the company’s press release.
GetMyBoat already has around 35,000 vessels in 143 countries on their books and Sleep Aboard has already proved popular in the US and Europe.
Prices for a one day stay range from $200 to $4,000, depending on the craft. Most owners don’t allow renters to take the boat out but some provide excursions at an additional coast.
“There are boating bed and breakfasts in Newport, Miami, and San Francisco; houseboats on landlocked lakes where people want to stop and enjoy some fresh air. In Amsterdam, houseboats are popular, while in the United Kingdom, canal boats are the norm.”, said GetMyBoat CIO Bryan Petro in a statement.
“We are committed to growing boating worldwide at GetMyBoat. Sleep Aboard is yet another way to reach new boaters and ensure the growth of an activity everybody should have the opportunity to experience. We’re happy to introduce the feature and excited to see its impact on how the world goes boating,” he said.
This is of course good news for boat owners too, who can lighten the coast of their upkeeping by renting out their beloved fleet.