Author Archives: Velos Insurance
Practical Boat Owner: The national newspaper of St Vincent is reporting that the Department of Public Prosecution Hamburg and the Homicide Commission have taken over the investigation into the murder of Martin Griff.
The 49-year-old German national, who was on holiday with his family, died of gunshot wounds to the neck in March 2016.
He was sleeping on deck when he was attacked. The captain of the yacht, Reinhold Zeller, was also injured during the ordeal. He received hospital treatment for a gunshot wound to the arm.
A total of 10 Germans were onboard the yacht when the incident happened during the early hours of 4 March 2016. Money and credit cards were also stolen.
The national newspaper of St Vincent, The Vincencian is now reporting that the investigation into the murder of Griff has been taken over by the German authorities.
It says that the Department of Public Prosecution Hamburg and the Homicide Commission have taken over the investigation in Germany.
The German authorities are also appealing for any witnesses to come forward.
Investigators are particularly interested in any photos that might have been taken between 22 February – 18 March, 2016.
They would like to hear from anyone who has photos of the bay of Wallilabou, St. Vincent, the coastal area or the wooden local boats and their users.
At the time of the murder, the Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves described the crime as a “terrible stain” on the the Caribbean island.
“Our people are not like this in the general way, but you have one or two persons, we have some home-grown criminals and some who come in from overseas who are selfishly and wickedly disturbing the peace and tranquillity of our country, and, in this case, using violence,” he said.
“This is a terrible, terrible stain on our country and this criminal act by these two masked intruders disturbing the tranquillity of persons on the yachts, it cost millions of dollars, because we sell peace, security, tranquillity,” Gonsalves added.
The bay of Wallilabou is a popular anchorage, and was part of the set for the Pirates of the Caribbean film, Curse of the Black Pearl.
Anyone with information about the murder is asked to contact the German authorities at http://www.hamburg.de/polizei/ or +1-49-40-428 65 67 89.
Practical Boat Owner: A single-handed yachtsman made a distress call to Humber Coastguard after his engine failed following rough weather.
The helicopter crew spoke to the sailor who explained he had taken on quite a lot of water in bad weather through the night and his yacht’s engine was now not working. He was happy and fit enough to stay aboard but would need a tow back to safety.
The coastguard requested the launch of Humber RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat at around 4pm on Monday night. At 61 miles the lifeboat would take the best part of three hours to reach the man and his vessel so en route the crew worked where the vessel was likely to drift to.
While nearing the area, the lifeboat crew contacted the casualty and used their direction finding equipment to confirm the yacht’s location.
On scene, lifeboat crew were put aboard to assess the skipper and the yacht’s condition; thankfully the yachtsmen had done a good job of clearing the water and just needed the lifeboat’s assistance to get back the shore.
The sailor was put aboard the lifeboat and two RNLI crew stayed to attach the tow. After approximately 11 hours towing back to the river Humber, the yacht was put alongside and into the safety of Grimsby.
At 6.50am yesterday morning the RNLI Humber Lifeboat crew returned back to their station at Spurn point after 14 hours at sea.
Glenn Peterson Crew at Humber said: ‘Thankfully on this occasion the gentlemen was able to contact the coastguard and get the help required, we encourage everyone going out to sea to ensure they have a means of distress call available and that equipment is appropriate for the area you are in.’
Yachting Boating World: The woman was rescued three times over a four day period by Looe RNLI in south east Cornwall. She has now been given “comprehensive” safety advice.
The young woman was cut off by the tide while out walking around the coast of south east Cornwall last week.
At this time of year, both of Looe’s lifeboats are launched to every shout, due to the popularity of the area for holidaymakers.
The woman was first rescued on 16 August. The second incident happened at Second Beach in East Looe on the evening of 18 August.
The third and final incident took place less than 24 hours later. The woman called the emergency services at just before midday on 19 August when she was cut off by the tide at Port Nadler Beach.
Looe’s volunteer lifeboat crew also had to deal with a number of other shouts during the week, including the rescue of two kayakers who were reported to be in difficulty in the water off Seaton. The casualties managed to get back to shore safely by the time the lifeboat arrived.
Helm of Looe RNLI Lifeboat, Brian Bowdler, said: “It has been a busy time for our crew and none of these rescues were easy because of sea and weather conditions. The spring tides can catch people out, as they can come in very quickly.”
“Our volunteers will launch to anybody in danger, regardless of their situation. If you’re heading to the coast our advice is to take extra care, check the weather and tide conditions and always carry a means of calling for help should you get into difficulty,” he stressed.
UK Coastguard issued a safety warning after six people died in rough seas between 19-20 August.
Three men, two women and a six-year-old boy were killed in Cornwall, Essex, Dorset, Jersey and Aberdeen.
Strong winds were forecast over the weekend, which coincided with a period of spring tides.
The Met Office also issued a yellow ‘be aware’ warning on 19 August.
Yachting Boating World: An investigation by the Dutch authorities is now underway after three sailors died when the mast of their ketch broke, crushing them to death.
The three tourists were on a charter holiday with the rest of their family when the accident happened just before 2pm on 21 August. Despite efforts to resuscitate them, they all died.
The men are aged 19, 43 and 48, and are all believed to be from the German town of Amberg.
Dutch media are reporting that the three men were sailing with nine other members of their family. It was the last day of their holiday.
No one else was injured in the accident.
The ketch was off the coast of the Frisian village of Harlingen, around 68 miles north of Amsterdam when the accident took place.
The vessel, which is said to date from 1898, was being skippered by the 51-year-old owner and his wife.
Immediately after the accident, the vessel returned to the port of Harlingen, where the bodies of the three men were removed.
The skipper has since been arrested by the police.
The Mayor of Harlingen, Roel Sluiter, has described the incident as “a terrible tragic accident”.
Harlingen on the Wadden Sea is a popular holiday resort, with a long history of fishing and shipping.
Yachting Boating World: The UK Coastguard has issued a safety warning after six people died in rough seas around Britain over the weekend.
Three men, two women and a six-year-old boy were killed in Cornwall, Essex, Dorset, Jersey and Aberdeen.
The Met Office had issued a yellow ‘be aware’ warning on 19 August. Gusts of up to 60mph were forecast for exposed coastlines in the south and west.
The strong winds and large waves also coincided with a period of spring tides over the weekend.
The UK Coastguard urged everyone to be careful around surging waves.
“Stay away from areas where surging waves could sweep you off your feet, or hit rocks and cause a huge amount of spray,” it advised.
“Be careful of tides; it’s easy to become cut off and strong wind conditions will mean that the sea will reach higher levels than expected. Heed warnings from lifeguards,” it added.
James Instance for the UK Coastguard issued this warning.
“What should be an enjoyable experience could so easily take a traumatic turn, so please do listen to warnings and stay at a safe distance from the water,” he stressed.
The first casualty of the weekend happened on 19 August at Fistral Beach in Newquay, Cornwall.
Rudy and Lisinda Bruynius and their three children were knocked off rocks and washed into the sea.
The couple’s two sons managed to scramble back on to rocks. RNLI lifeguards rescued Mrs Bruynius using their jetski.
Her husband and their two-year-old daughter was rescued by the Newquay lifeboat. Mr Bruyunius later died in hospital.
On 20 August, a windsurfer in his 60s died after getting into difficulties off West Mercia, Essex.
Dan Baker, who was described by friends as an experienced windsurfer, was airlifted to hospital at just after midday but later died.
Just hours later, a man got into difficulty while swimming outside the safe swim area at Sandbanks beach in Poole, Dorset.
He was rescued from the water by lifeguards, who performed CPR. The crew of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and paramedics also attended but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Later on Saturday afternoon, two brothers were paddling in the sea off Aberdeen when they were swept out.
Their mother, 37-year-old Julie Walker, along with others, tried to rescue the children. All of them needed rescuing. Both Walker and her six-year-old son, Lucas died.
Walker’s 13-year-old son, Samuel is recovering in hospital. A man and a woman also received medical treatment.
On Saturday evening, a female swimmer was recovered from rough seas off Jersey. Joy Godfray, 31, later died in hospital.
She had been swimming near Green Island beach with a male companion, who was rescued by a member of the public.
Practical Boat Owner: A single-handed yachtsman has praised RNLI Castletownbere rescuers for saving his life after he got into difficulties 45 miles south of Mizen head in West Cork.
The lifeboat volunteers spent more than 12 hours battling storm-force conditions after the sailor activated an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) identify his location, raise the alarm and seek help.
The Castletownbere lifeboat, Annette Hutton, launched at 8am on Saturday morning, 20 August, after Valentia Coast Guard Radio requested assistance for the yachtsman.
The eight-metre (26ft) yacht had left the Azores in early August. The sailor, aged in his sixties, had been in regular radio contact with Valentia Coast Guard radio until Saturday morning when his VHF radio was washed overboard. He activated an EPIRB to identify his location, raise the alarm and seek help.
The lifeboat, under the command of Coxswain Brian O’Driscoll, located the casualty at 10.40am. 50 miles south-west of Castletownbere. The Coast Guard helicoptor also attended the incident.
Conditions were described as ‘gusting Force 8/9 winds with a 30ft swell’. The yacht was taken under tow and the lifeboat proceeded slowly to Castletownbere in challenging sea conditions.
Early into the tow lifeboat crew became concerned about the well being of the sailor and crew managed to transfer him to the lifeboat. The lifeboat, with the damaged yacht in tow, returned to Castletownbere at 8.30pm. having been at sea for 12 and a half hours.
The sailor thanked the Castletownbere lifeboat and all involved for ‘saving his life’. He said: ‘only for the lifeboat, things would have ended up very badly today’.
Castletownbere lifeboat operations manager Tony O’Sullivan said: ‘The coxswain and crew are to be complimented on the rescue – they demonstrated skill, seamanship and endurance during what was a long and challenging day.’
Yachting Boating World: Michelle Keegan will officially open the 48th Southampton Boat Show on 16 September. The 10-day event attracts visitors worldwide.
The 29-year-old, who has had roles in Coronation Street and Ordinary Lives, is scheduled to appear at 11am on 16 September, helping to kick off 10 days of fun and attractions.
Incorporating one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas, the Southampton Boat Show is considered one of the world’s leading boat shows.
The 2016 edition, which runs from 16-25 September, will offer visitors an exciting array of new attractions.
With hundreds of boats on display, including 330 on the stunning marina itself and over 2km of pontoons, this year’s event is being billed as another show stopper.
Keegan, who counts her lead role in the BBC drama, Our Girl, and the forthcoming ITV drama, Tina and Bobby, amongst her current projects, comments: “I am thrilled to be opening the Southampton Boat Show this year.”
“As an avid fan of all types of activity on the water, I’m really excited to spend some time at the show, soaking up the atmosphere and experiencing some of the brilliant attractions on offer,” she added.
The British Marine Boat Shows managing director, Murray Ellis said he was delighted to welcome Keegan to the show this year.
“As Britain’s biggest boating festival, the Southampton Boat Show is a much-loved event and one of the leaders in the global boating calendar,” he noted.
“The show attracts visitors from those new to boating to avid sailors as well as a host of famous names, and we’re thrilled that Michelle will be joining us to help open the show,” he stated.
Attractions at the show include the new Festival Stage featuring a thrilling line-up of live music, fashion shows and expert talks.
On the water, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to try an array of activities from experiencing first-hand what life aboard an ocean racing yacht is really like to trying out Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Feature boats will include the awe-inspiring Norwegian three-masted sailing barque, Artemis and the revolutionary Team Britannia vessel bidding to break the world record for the fastest powerboats circumnavigation of the globe.
Yachting Boating World: An investigation is now underway after a fire at a Long Island marina. Multiple boats were damaged. Watch as firefighters try and put out the blaze.
High winds made it difficult for firefighters to put out the blaze at the Patchogue Shores Marina, with the fire spreading from boat to boat.
Suffolk fire officials say the blaze started just before 7pm on 16 August.
Dense smoke covered the East Patchogue area. Many Long Island residents posted pictures and video of the incident on social media, alerting marina users.
Six departments, along with the U.S. Coast Guard and Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau, were at the scene to try and put out the fire.
Nearby residents were warned to stay indoors and to close all windows.
Officials say firefighters had to return to the marina several hours after putting the fire out when it rekindled on a boat and on the dock.Three firefighters had to receive medical attention after inhaling chemicals from the burning vessels.
The owner of the marina, David Kazmark, told CBS New York that he was grateful that no one was seriously injured.
Praising the emergency services, he said: “They saved my business, they saved my building; saved gas tanks from going up.”
The cause of the fire is still being investigation, although it is not believed to be suspicious. Officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation have been monitoring the cleanup of the marina site.
Four of the eight boats which caught fire are believed to be a total loss.
Yachting Boating World: Latest figures from the International Maritime Bureau reveal piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995.
The figures for January-June 2016 have been compiled by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
Its Piracy Reporting Centre is the world’s only independent office to receive reports of pirate attacks, 24-hours-a-day, from across the globe.
IMB’s global piracy report shows 98 incidents in the first half of 2016, compared with 134 for the same period in 2015. When piracy was at its highest, in 2010 and 2003, IMB recorded 445 attacks a year.
In the first half of 2016, IMB recorded 72 vessels boarded, five hijackings, and a further 12 attempted attacks. Nine ships were fired upon.
Sixty-four crew were taken hostage onboard, down from 250 in the same period last year.
The director of IMB, Captain Pottengal Mukundan described the drop in world piracy as “encouraging news.”
“Two main factors are recent improvements around Indonesia, and the continued deterrence of Somali pirates off East Africa,” he explained.
“But ships need to stay vigilant, maintain security and report all attacks, as the threat of piracy remains, particularly off Somalia and in the Gulf of Guinea,” added Captain Mukundan.
The findings reveal that Nigeria is the world’s piracy kidnapping hotspot. Despite global improvements, kidnappings are on the rise, with 44 crew captured for ransom in 2016, 24 of them in Nigeria, up from 10 in the first half of 2015.
“In the Gulf of Guinea, rather than oil tankers being hijacked for their cargo, there is an increasing number of incidents of crew being kidnapped for ransom,” noted Captain Mukundan.
Nigerian attacks are often violent, accounting for eight of the nine vessels fired upon worldwide. IMB says many further assaults go unreported by shipowners.
IMB reported two further kidnap incidents off Sabah, Malaysia, where tugs and barges were targeted.
In early June, a tug and barge were hijacked off Balingian, Sarawak in Malaysia; the cargo of palm oil was stolen. The IMB says there has been a fall in the number of incidents in Indonesia.
There were 24 recorded cases in the first six months of 2016, compared with 54 in the same period in 2015.
This is attributed to improvements in security at sea and in ports. Designated anchorages with improved security have been introduced by the Indonesian authorities.
IMB has also applauded the Indonesian Navy’s prompt response in recovering a hijacked product tanker, south of Pulau Serutu, off west Kalimantan in May.
“This is exactly the type of robust response required in response to such threats,” it said.
Nine pirates were apprehended and the crew of the tanker unharmed.
In May, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines agreed to conduct coordinated patrols to target piracy in the Celebes Sea that borders all three countries.
Many of the kidnappings for the first half of 2016 are reported to have been carried out by just one group – the Islamist militant Abu Sayyaf.
On 18 August, 2016, it was reported that two of the group’s hostages from a captured tugboat had escaped.
The other hostages – nine Indonesians, five Malaysians, one Norwegian, and a Dutchman – are still being held.
The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre is based in Kuala Lumpur, and has been supporting the shipping industry, authorities and navies for 25 years.
All shipmasters and owners are encouraged to report all actual, attempted and suspected piracy and armed robbery incidents to the local authorities as well as the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.
The IMB says this first step in the response chain is “vital to ensuring that adequate resources are allocated by authorities to tackle piracy”.
It adds that transparent statistics from an independent, non-political, international organisation can “act as a catalyst to achieve this goal”.
The IMB’s findings for January-June 2016 comes following media reports on 17 August, 2016 that an Malaysian oil tanker had been hijacked and taken to Indonesia.
These were later dismissed by the authorities in both countries. It was later revealed that the vessel had sailed to Indonesia following a dispute between the tanker’s owners and its crew.
Yachting Boating World: An investigation is underway by the Greek authorities after two boats collided off the island of Aegina. Four people are dead, including a child.
The Greek Coastguard says an investigation is now underway by the Echelon of Greek Office of Naval Investigation Accident & Incident (ELYDNA).
Witnesses say the eight-metre speedboat collided with the tourist boat, slicing it in two. So far, 20 passengers on the tourist boat have been rescued.
The bodies of two men and one child were recovered from the water by rescuers.
They are believed to be the Greek captain of the tourist boat, and a father and his child. The body of a third man was later found by divers. None of the four people on board the speedboat were injured.
The Greek Coastguard says the captain of the speedboat has been arrested. Attempts to identify any missing passengers from the tourist boat are ongoing.
The incident happened just after 1pm local time on 16 August. A navy helicopter, three coastguard patrol boats and nearby fishing and leisure craft assisted in the search for survivors.
Those with minor injuries and shock were treated at the Aegina health centre. Two people with serious injuries have bene transferred by helicopter to Athens.
The wreckage of the tourist boat has now been recovered, while investigators continue to piece together the cause of the accident.
Aegina is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Saronic Gulf. It is around 17 miles from Athens and is a popular holiday destinations for Greeks and foreign visitors.