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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 records are from the National Water Safety Forum’s Water Incident Database (WAID) 2011–2015.

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.

See article at Practical Boat Owner

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Categories: Accident, At sea, Safety

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.

 

The distinction between Tidal and Non-Tidal Practical courses will end.

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.’

See article at Practical Boat Owner

 

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Categories: Boat Club

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.

 

A new offshore wind farm off the coast of Blyth in Northumberland has been approved for construction.

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.’

See article at Yachting Monthly

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Categories: marine environment

Yachting Monthly World: Sailors, beach-goers and other water users are being asked to help out with the Great British Beach Clean from 16-19 September 2016.

 

The Marine Conservation Society is asking for sailors, as well as other beach-lovers to volunteer to join them on the beaches for the Great British Beach Clean in September.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants to tackle the huge quantity of litter washing up on the UK’s shores, and the charity says it cannot do it without public support. They urgently need volunteers to take part in the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey, which takes place on the third weekend in September.

In 2015, just over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches, recording the largest amount of litter per kilometre – a staggering 3,298 pieces.

MCS Beachwatch Manager, Lauren Eyles says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels:

‘Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 65 per cent. We need help and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.’

This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 16, 17, 18, and 19 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers taking to the beaches all and around the UK coast. They’ll clean up and record the rubbish they find. The event is being supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:

‘It’s really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean.”

Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from hazardous litter in our seas. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidentally eat, or become tangled up in litter – and it’s also hazardous to people.

Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch  or telephone 01989 566017.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.

MCS provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the annual Good Beach Guide, the Good Fish Guide on sustainable seafood, as well as promoting public participation in volunteer projects such as The Great British Beach Clean and Basking Shark Watch. www.mcsuk.org

See article at Yachting Monthly World

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Categories: marine environment

Practical Boat Owner: Two men who sailed a yacht carrying almost a tonne of cocaine across the Atlantic have been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison.

 

Sailing the yacht were Raymond Aalders, 47, and skipper, Hendrik Brugmans, 69, both Dutch nationals. National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators found evidence that Brugmans was paid 1.2 million Euros for making the trip.

They were both arrested after the yacht Golem was intercepted by a Border Force cutter off the coast of Rye on 31 August 2015.

At the time of its interception the Golem had it’s navigation beacon turned off and was noticeably listing to one side.

The 56ft yacht was escorted into Dover marina, where a search by specialist Border Force teams revealed hundreds of packages of drugs concealed in specially made hides in a workshop, water tank, and underneath benches.

In interviews with NCA officers they both admitted sailing the vessel from Curacao in the southern Caribbean. The boat’s destination was believed to have been the Netherlands.

Forensic tests on the packages revealed the cocaine was 70 percent pure, and if adulterated and sold in the UK would have had a potential street value of around £120 million.

Both Brugmans and Aalders pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs and were sentenced today at Maidstone Crown Court to 20 years and nine months and 14 years respectively.

Matt Rivers from the NCA’s border investigation team said: ‘These two men were involved in an audacious plot to smuggle millions of pounds worth of high purity class A drugs into Europe.

‘Their reckless attempts to avoid detection by breaching sailing regulations could have had extremely dangerous consequences.

‘It is believed the final destination of the boat was to be the Netherlands but given the sheer scale of this seizure, it is likely that a large amount of the drugs would have ended up being sold on the streets of the UK.

‘The NCA will continue to work with Border Force to disrupt the organised criminals involved in trafficking cocaine to Europe and the UK.’

See article at Practical Boat Owner

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Categories: Yacht smuggling

Yachting Monthly: Sailors, beach-goers and other water users are being asked to help out with the Great British Beach Clean from 16-19 September 2016.

The Marine Conservation Society is asking for sailors, as well as other beach-lovers to volunteer to join them on the beaches for the Great British Beach Clean in September.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants to tackle the huge quantity of litter washing up on the UK’s shores, and the charity says it cannot do it without public support. They urgently need volunteers to take part in the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey, which takes place on the third weekend in September.

In 2015, just over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches, recording the largest amount of litter per kilometre – a staggering 3,298 pieces.

MCS Beachwatch Manager, Lauren Eyles says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels:

‘Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 65 per cent. We need help and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.’

This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 16, 17, 18, and 19 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers taking to the beaches all and around the UK coast. They’ll clean up and record the rubbish they find. The event is being supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.

Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:‘

It’s really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean.”

Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from hazardous litter in our seas. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidentally eat, or become tangled up in litter – and it’s also hazardous to people.

Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch  or telephone 01989 566017.

The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.

See article at Yachting Monthly

Practical Boat Owner: A murder suspect has appeared in court after being arrested along with 17 suspected Albanian migrants, after a catamaran was detained at Chichester Marina.

 

Stephen Andrew Jackson, 50, who was being sought over a killing in Spain, was held after police were alerted to the catamaran arriving at Chichester Marina on Monday night.

A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Stephen Andrew Jackson, 50, of no fixed address, appeared at Crawley Magistrates Court yesterday, Wednesday 25 May, charged with facilitating illegal entry into the UK.

‘He did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on 24 June.

‘The extradition matter in relation to the European Arrest Warrant from the Spanish authorities will be dealt with following the conclusion of legal proceedings in relation to the facilitation charge.

‘Nine of the Albanian men appeared at Crawley Magistrates Court yesterday charged with attempted illegal entry into the UK. All nine pleaded guilty.

‘Eight were sentenced to eight weeks in prison and one was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison. They will all be removed from the UK at the end of their sentences.

‘The other eight Albanian men remain detained pending their removal from the UK.

‘The catamaran has been seized and a court application has been made for its forfeiture. The application will be heard at the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.’

The discovery comes after the National Crime Agency (NCA) revealed last month that migrants trying to reach the UK are paying smuggling gangs up to £13,500 for their journey, some are believed to have spent as much as £12,000 to travel from France in inflatable boats.

Investigators suspect that, as well as the main Channel crossing between Calais and Dover, criminals may be using less busy ports in the UK, including Tilbury, Purfleet, Hull, Immingham and Newhaven.

The arrests followed a tip off by the Hampshire Police Marine Unit, who were attending another incident in the Solent on Monday afternoon when they spotted the catamaran that they had suspicions about.

Officers intercepted the vessel, which had travelled from France, and spoke to the British man on board but were unable to board due to the poor weather conditions.

They found out that the catamaran was heading to Chichester Harbour and informed Sussex Police.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘Police arrested a 55-year-old man – a UK passport holder – and 17 Albanian nationals aboard a yacht at Chichester Marina shortly before 10pm on Monday (23 May).

‘The arrests were made by Sussex Police after Hampshire Police alerted us about the yacht arriving at the marina. The case is now being investigated by the Home Office Immigration Enforcement.’

See article at Practical Boat Owner

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Categories: Courtcase

Practical Boat Owner: Volunteer crew from the RNLI’s Barrow station launched their all-weather lifeboat early yesterday morning to rescue the crew of a fishing vessel which was sinking approximately 2.5 miles west of Walney Island.

 

The request to launch the lifeboat came from Holyhead Coastguard at 2.50am, following a report that a 10.5 metre-long catamaran had collided with an offshore wind farm turbine, and was taking on water.

The three crew on board had deployed their liferaft and were preparing to abandon the vessel when the lifeboat reached them.

One of the crew, a 58-year-old man, sustained a head injury as a result of the collision, which occurred while the catamaran was on passage from Ravenglass.

The Barrow Lifeboat, ‘Grace Dixon’, was launched at 2.59am under the command of Coxswain Shaun Charnley with crew Jonny Long, Kate Lawty, Dave Kell, Mark Harper, Adam Cleasby and Alan Cleasby.

The lifeboat crew reached the stricken vessel at 3.20am. Seven minutes later all three fishing boat crew had been transferred safely onto the lifeboat.

A search and rescue helicopter also scrambled, however, once the lifeboat had manoeuvred clear of the windfarm site and after a further assessment it was decided to return the casualty to the lifeboat station and the helicopter was stood down.The lifeboat returned to the station at 3.56am and by 4.07am the casualty was being transported by ambulance to Furness General Hospital.

The lifeboat was then re-launched and returned to the fishing vessel. The lifeboat volunteers found the catamaran to be very low in the water on the starboard side.

At 5am the lifeboat had the vessel under tow although it was still taking on water.

John Falvey, Barrow Lifeboat operations manager, said ‘The vessel was listing badly when the lifeboat arrived having taken on sea water. The crew were about to abandon the vessel but we transferred them safely to the lifeboat which then took them to Barrow Lifeboat Station so that the injured skipper could be treated at hospital. The lifeboat then returned to deal with the damaged vessel which was in danger of sinking.’

The vessel was taken under tow and ‘very slowly and carefully moved closer to the west side of Walney Island where it was anchored so as not to be a hazard to other shipping in the area’.

See article at Practical Boat Owner

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Categories: Accident

Motorboat & Yachting: Fairline teams up with Alberto Mancini and Vripack to design new models.

 

Fairline has chosen Italian designer Alberto Mancini and Dutch naval architects Vripack to help shape its future models. By choosing to look overseas, the British yard hopes to inject fresh excitement and innovation into its range of 38-78ft motoryachts.

Andrew Pope, Head of Design at Fairline Yachts said: “Following an exhaustive process we are delighted to announce this design partnership Alberto clearly demonstrated his understanding of the Fairline brand and we’re very excited to see him applying his talent and design language to our future models.

The Italian designer is best known for his work styling high performance craft for the likes of Otam, Mangusta and Magnum Marine but his portfolio also includes Fairline rival Dominator Yachts and its ground-breaking new Illumen 28M project.

Dutch naval architects Vripack have an equally illustrious list of clients from superyacht builders to Dutch yards Steeler and Wajer.

Speaking about the new collaboration, Mancini said “I am looking forward to creating a new era of Fairline yachts with a new, fresh, sleek design of both the interior and exterior. My inspiration is taken from my experience in the mega yacht field, but also from Fairline’s rich history of building timeless, classic, usable yachts for almost 50 years.

“In a romantic way, this partnership reminds me of a time from the 1950s and 60s when famous British car makers and the Italian styling houses of Pininfarina, Touring Superleggera and Zagato created some of the most beautiful and classic designs.”

Russell Currie, Managing Director of Fairline Yachts added, “Introducing the creative flair and style of Alberto Mancini with the engineering excellence of Vripack to the exceptional quality and British craftsmanship we already have at Fairline makes an exciting combination. I look forward to showing our new product designs over the coming weeks and months.”

See article at Motorboat & Yachting

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Categories: Fairline Yachts

Yachting Boating World: The former boyfriend of Lisa Brown has appeared in a Spanish court after being arrested in Denmark. Lisa Brown has not been seen since 4 November.

 

25 May
Lisa Brown was last seen on 4 November at her home in San Roque, Southern Spain.

Now, her ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old Liverpudlian yacht dealer, Simon Corner has appeared in court in connection with her disappearance. The reason for the court hearing, which took place in private on 24 May, has not been disclosed.

Corner was arrested in Denmark in April before being extradited back to Spain. A European Arrest Warrant had been issued for Corner.

Members of the Spanish Guardia Civil have also been searching a yacht in Lanzarote. The vessel is moored at Marina Lanzarote in the island capital Arrecife. Forensic teams in white suits are reported to have been on board the yacht on 24 May.

Lisa Brown, who is originally from Alexandria, Dumbartonshire, was last seen at her home in the town of San Roque. The authorities were alerted to her disappearance when she failed to pick up her eight-year-old son from school.

Police have searched the area around her home but have found no trace of the 32-year-old mother.

Yacht dealer Corner spoke to Spain’s Civil Guard police force at the time of Lisa’s disappearance, but then left the country.

14 April
The Spanish Guardia Civil is understood to have issued a European Arrest Warrant to trace Simon Corner, who has links to Ibiza, Thailand and Portugal. His girlfriend, Lisa Brown disappeared in southern Spain on 4 November.

She was last seen at her home in the town of San Roque. The authorities were alerted to her disappearance when she failed to pick up her eight-year-old son from school.

Police have searched the area around her home but have found no trace of the 32-year-old mother.

Yacht dealer Corner, who is from Liverpool, spoke to Spain’s Civil Guard police force at the time of Lisa’s disappearance, but then left the country. He has not been seen since.

Brown’s sister, Helen Jordan has set up a Find Lisa Facebook page and a Find Lisa Fund to help pay for the cost of tracing Brown. More than £6,800 has already been raised.

Posting on the Facebook page, Jordan urged Corner to answer their questions about her sister’s disappearance. Numerous photos of Corner have also been uploaded, including the one below. Corner has not been formally charged with any crime.

26 November
Spanish police are searching for a yacht dealer from Liverpool as a suspect in the disappearance 32-year old mother Lisa Brown.

Brown was last seen at her home in southern Spain, near Gibraltar, on 4 November.

Brown was first suspected missing when she failed to pick up her eight-year-old son from school in the town of San Roque, where she was living and working.

Spain’s Civil Guard police force, which is investigating the case, believes Brown may have been abducted by her boyfriend, Simon Corner, and taken to sea. Corner has also reportedly disappeared, and has not been seen at the marinas he regularly visited in his yacht.

Brown’s home has been sealed off and searched for clues and DNA samples. Dogs and divers have searched the area and the Guadiaro River near Brown’s home and found no trace, and the Civil Guard has enlisted the help of the Royal Gibraltar Police in their search for the missing couple.

Brown’s parents have travelled to Spain, and Brown’s former partner, Tony Tomillero, is looking after their child.

Brown is understood to have lived in Dumbarton, Scotland, before moving to Spain.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that it is liaising with local authorities and providing assistance to the family of a missing British national.

See article at Yachting Boating World

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Categories: Courtcase

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British sailor Elliot Willis is fundraising for cancer charity

Practical Boat Owner: British Sailing Team sailor Elliot Willis is cycling 250 miles this September for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity: ‘Because they got me to this point where I feel I can do it.’   The Team GB

September 16, 2016 read more