BBC News: The wrecked Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia has been successfully raised from the under-sea platform it has been resting on for the past year, salvage workers say. The wreck – the target of one of the biggest maritime salvage operations in history – is now floating about 2m (6ft) off the platform.

 

In all, the refloating operation is expected to take six or seven days. The ship will then be towed to its home port, Genoa, where it will be scrapped.

The Concordia struck a reef off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012 and capsized, killing 32 people.

Workers are slowly lifting the vessel by pumping air into tanks attached to the ship. The wreck was hauled upright in September but was still partially submerged, resting on six steel platforms.

The BBC’s Alan Johnston at the scene said that by midday a weed-covered streak of the hull had become visible as the previously submerged part of the ship gradually rose above the waves.

Salvage workers cheered with delight as they returned to Giglio’s port.

“The ship is upright and is not listing. This is extremely positive,” the engineer in charge of the salvage, Franco Porcellacchia, told a news conference.

He said the sixth deck of the ship had begun to emerge on Monday, and once that was fully above water the other decks would become visible in quick succession.

“When deck three re-emerges we are in the final stage and ready for departure,” he added.

Tugboats attached to the ship by cables have moved it a short distance away from the shore.

A search for the remains of Indian waiter Russel Rebello, whose body was not recovered from the wreck, is due to be carried out.

The Costa Concordia’s owners, Costa Crociere, estimate the operation to remove the wreck from the reef and tow it for scrapping will cost 1.5bn euros (£1.2bn; $2bn) in total.

 

‘Risks’

An engineer with Costa Crociere described the salvage efforts as “unprecedented”. “As with anything being done for the first time, there are risks. But we are confident,” Franco Porcellacchia said.

Hundreds of divers and engineers have been involved in operations to salvage the Concordia, which is twice the size of the Titanic.

Towing the ship to Genoa – about 200 nautical miles (370km) away – is due to begin on 21 July and take about five days. “The operation began well but it will be completed only when we have finished the transport to Genoa,” Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti told reporters on Monday.

Local residents have said they are glad the wreckage will be removed. “I am happy they are taking it away because to see a ship like that always there, with the deaths that happened, it gives us the shivers,” Italo Arienti told Reuters news agency.

The captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship, charges he denies.

 

 See full article, videos and pictures at BBC News – click here

 

BBC News: Hundreds of sailors have returned to London 11 months after setting off on the 40,000-mile (64,000km) Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The 12 boats in the Clipper Race sailed between six continents.

 

Crowds greeted the boats as they arrived at Tower Bridge at 12:45 BST. Twelve teams, largely made up of novices, tackled hurricanes and tornadoes as they raced between six continents.

The crew from the winning vessel, Henri Lloyd, was presented with a trophy at St Katharine Docks.

The race was founded by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world in 1968-69.

He said: “It is a tight race, but in racing with a tight crew that is teamwork and that’s where you learn you can do things you didn’t realise you could do. You work together and you trust your lives to each other on a boat.”

 

Most of the crew members – 670 from more than 40 nations – were novices, although each boat was skippered by a professional.

The Clipper Race took in South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and the Netherlands before returning to London.

Most of the crew members – 670 from more than 40 nations – were novices, although each boat was skippered by a professional.

The Clipper Race took in South Africa, Western Australia, Sydney, Singapore, China, San Francisco, Panama, Jamaica, New York, Derry and the Netherlands before returning to London.

 

See article and more pictures at BBC News – click here

 

Testing: When asked if Motorboat & Yachting wanted to go to Plymouth to test the Princess 82and Princess 88 motor and yacht back-to-back, they jumped at the chance.

This is an interesting comparison because on the face of it the two boats look very similar. Both have large, extended flybridges, enormous one-piece hull windows and those classic Princess lines.

But underneath, they are quite different. The 82 is, according to Princess, the largest manifestation of the Princess flybridge boat. It has the famous Olesinski planing hull and the performance and handling that makes a Princess such an enjoyable boat to be behind the wheel of.

In its own factory tests, Princess has seen an 82 with 1,800hp CAT C32s hit 37 knots flat out, pretty staggering for something that weighs over 50 tonnes.The 88 has a “hybrid” hull, which is designed to be comfortable and fuel efficient at 8-12 knots but still able to top 27 knots if you want to get a move on.

The 88 is also where you begin to get some of the superyacht treatment, filtering down from the 32 and 40 Metre. So the level of personalisation goes up and you have private consultations with the yard’s Mayfair-based Princess Design Studio as part of the package.

We decided to focus on the 82 as it is a bit more of an MBY boat. (Slightly) smaller and, from all accounts, more of a driver’s boat.

The test boat was fitted with CAT C32 1,700hp engines, good for a top speed of 31.5 knots with fin stabilisers on board. The fins undoubtedly did a great job in rough conditions off of Plymouth but in terms of driving enjoyment their extra weight reduced top speed and their insistance on trying to keep the boat upright dulled the handling somewhat, too.

Of course, this is all totally elementary because who really cares about whether an 82ft flybridge is fun to chuck around? And no one is going to be sniffing at the fact that it only managed 31.5 knots.

But nevermind that small detail, where there is fun to be had is with the immense power of those engines. The way the 82 picks up in the mid-range is astonishing, huge waves of torque summon from the depths of the engineroom and thrust it forward at an alarming rate for something so massive. It’s simply immense, and this wasn’t even the largest engine option.

Elsewhere, there is little to complain about. You can pay extra to have the Princess Design Studio treatment but even without that there is plenty of scope to adjust colours, woods, materials and other cosmetic elements.The one-piece hull windows that Princess has started to use across its range are particularly magnificent on a boat of this size. I spent most of my time on the water sitting in the master cabin watching the world rush by.

A full report on the 82 (and some more detail on the 88) will be going into a future issue of the magazine.

See full article and test drive of Princess 82 at Motorboat & Yachting – click here

 

British powerboat champion Shelley Jory-Leigh will be supporting disabled teen sailor Natasha Lambert by leading her safety boat team during the 2014 Sea and Summit challenge.

 

On 24 July, Natasha, aged 17, who has cerebral palsy and sails using her mouth to operate a ‘sip and puff’ mechanism, will embark on a month-long challenge sailing single-handed down the South West coast of England to Wales.

Shelley and her safety boat team (Gary Coleman, Dan Whapples and Andy Smith) will accompany Natasha on the 430-mile journey, following in an eight-metre rigid inflatable boat (RIB) powered by a BF250 engine kindly donated by Honda UK.

Shelley said: ‘I’m so excited to be supporting Natasha on her remarkable journey this July and August. ‘Honda has provided me with my old start boat from my early Honda racing days which is fantastic. I would also like to thank Redstone, who are supporting our team to be able to make this happen.

‘Ever since I first met Natasha I’ve remained friends with her and wanted to support her. She has been out in a powerboat with me and just laughed the whole time wanting to go faster!

‘Her magnetism and enthusiasm to succeed overwhelms me. She is determined to lead a more than normal life.’

Natasha said: ‘Shelley is just awesome and she’s a fab role model. I’m so lucky to have her and her team helping me and I really appreciate them giving up their time.

‘I’m so excited about this adventure- it’s going to be epic!’

The Sea and Summit challenge will see Natasha sail 430 miles and climb 2,907ft whilst raising money for the RNLI, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and the RYA Foundation, as well as the profile of sailing for people with disabilities.

See full article at Practical Boat Owner – click here

A Google executive who was found dead on his 50ft yacht in November last year was killed when a prostitute injected him with heroin, say Police in Santa Cruz.

 

Alix Tichelman, 26, was arrested on July 4 and later charged with manslaughter and other charges over the death of Forrest Hayes, a 51-year-old engineer and married father of five who had worked for Google, Apple and Sun Microsystems in Silicon Valley.

Police say they have uncovered video footage of Ms Tichelman injecting the victim with heroin on the yacht and leaving when he suffered a bad reaction to the drugs and fell unconscious.

Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said Ms Tichelman could be seen calmly gathering her possessions as Mr Hayes lay dying.

“The video shows the victim suffering medical complications and going unconscious,” Clark said. “Rather than provide first aid or call 911, Ms Tichelman proceeds to gather her belongings including the heroin and needles.

“The video also shows Ms Tichelman stepping over the victim’s body several times as she is gathering her belongings.

“At one point, she steps over the body to finish a glass of wine. Finally, she leaves the boat and reaches back in to lower the blind and conceal the victim’s body from outside view.”

According to KSBW.com, the two met through a website called Seeking Arrangements which aims to connect “sugar daddies” with “sugar babies” for “upfront and honest arrangements with someone who will cater to your needs”.

On her Facebook page Ms Tichelman describes herself as an aspiring model, makeup artist, writer, exotic dancer and ‘hustler’. She is being held on bail for $1.5m in Santa Cruz County.

 

See article at Yachting & Boating World – click here

 
 

Thousands are expected to flock to London’s St Katharine Docks this Saturday to welcome the Clipper fleet home. But dramatic footage has been released today of the moment the GREAT Britain team were hit by a tornado as they competed in the Clipper Round the World yacht race.

The 12-strong Clipper Race fleet will return to London this Saturday, 12 July 2014, after covering more than 40,000 miles between six continents over eleven months.

A total of 670 novice sailors from all walks of life, aged 18 to 74, were trained to take on the biennial endurance challenges, currently in its ninth edition.

Crew have experienced a wide range of weather conditions from the benign to the extreme: in addition to the tornado incident they have endured being knocked down by giant waves, battled hurricane force winds, dodged icebergs and growlers; extreme heat and cold; been on the alert for pirates; had coast guard assisted medical evacuations and rescued of a man overboard after being lost in a Pacific storm for more than an hour.

The footage of the tornado was captured by a fixed on-board camera attached to the mast looking down towards the stern. It shows the team in challenging conditions a week out of Australia heading towards the equator with heavy rain and squalls battering the fleet.

The waterspout was pretty invisible in the conditions at the time and hit without warning, rolling the boat through 120 degrees pinning the mast down on the ocean’s surface in swirling winds over 100 knots.

Crew are thrown into the sea on their tethers and scrabble to hang onto the boat which starts to right itself as the tornado passes and is visible in the upper left hand side of the screen disappearing into the distance as the crew start to clamber back onto their feet.

Crew member Paul Hardy, aged 43, an IT consultant from Brighton is seen desperately trying to grab onto the mast after he is submerged into the sea as the yacht is hit by the tornado.

He said: ‘All of a sudden the wind picked up and the noise picked up…water started to rise and I knew there was something wrong… I tried to get out of the water and climb up onto the mast and then saw the water spout.’

Saturday’s homecoming schedule
Thousands are expected to descend on St Katharine Docks to welcome the Clipper crews back to London after 11 months circumnavigating the world.

But even those who cannot attend the big event will be able to watch the action online thanks to a Live Stream, which will be available from 11:45 BST (1045 UTC/GMT), by clicking this link.

 

The Clipper Race fleet are expected to finish racing in the early hours of Saturday, ready to parade up the Thames at 07:30 from Southend.

Timings of the best vantage points to watch the fleet:

  • 10.00 – Parade of Sail starts
  • 10.19 – QE2 Bridge at Dartford
  • 11.48 – Thames Barrier
  • 12.01 – Dome
  • 12.12 – Greenwich
  • 12.30 – Canary Wharf Pier
  • 12.45 – St Katharine Docks
  • 14.00-15.00 – Final prizegiving ceremony at St Katharine Docks

Find out more at www.clipperroundtheworld.com
See full article and video footage at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 

The Crown Estate, manager of the UK seabed, has announced that it has agreed seabed rights for six new wave and tidal current demonstration zones and five new wave and tidal current sites around the UK.

 

Project sites announced include: Portland Bill, England; Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland; Stronsay Firth and the Mull of Galloway in Scotland; and Holyhead Deep in Wales.

Demonstration sites announced include: North Cornwall Wave Hub, North Devon Wave Hub, South Pembrokeshire Wave Hub in England; the Isle of Harris and Islay in Scotland and West Anglesey in Wales.

It marks the first time that the Crown Estate will enable locally-based organisations to manage and sub-let parts of the seabed to a range of wave and tidal stream developers.

Rob Hastings, Crown Estate director of energy and infrastructure, said: ‘By providing these additional seabed rights we are pleased to be enabling further technology development and commercialisation, which will be critical if the UK is to unlock its significant natural resources for wave and tidal current energy.

‘This innovative approach to leasing the seabed sees us responding to market demand and introducing managed demonstration zones to give other organisations the opportunity to lend tangible support in their local areas.’

Greg Barker, Minister for energy and climate change said: ‘Today’s announcement is a great step for the development of wave and tidal stream industries. Wave and tidal stream are growing green, clean energy sources which have the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth, from exports alone, a possible £4billion per annum by 2050.’

The locations for the demonstration zones and project sites include three off the coast of England, four off the coast of Scotland, one in Northern Ireland and three off the coast of Wales. 

Organisation – Location – Zone type/project name

Wave Hub:

North Cornwall; Wave demonstration zone

  • North Devon; Tidal stream demonstration zone
  • South Pembrokeshire; Wave demonstration zone

Siemens MCT:

  • Dorset, Portland Bill; Tidal stream project site
  • Northern Ireland, Strangford Lough; Tidal stream project site
  • Scotland, Mull of Galloway; Tidal stream project site

EMEC:

  • Scotland, Isle of Harris; Wave demonstration zone
  • Scotland, Islay; Tidal stream demonstration zone
  • Scotland, Stronsay Firth; Tidal stream managed test facility project

Menter Môn:

  • Wales,West Anglesey; Tidal stream demonstration zone

Minesto:

  • Wales; Holyhead Deep, tidal stream project site

The Crown Estate launched the wave and tidal current leasing process in October 2013 and these new demonstration zones are in areas specially chosen by The Crown Estate for their suitability for test and demonstration activities.

With this leasing process now complete, the next stage is for the demonstration zone managers to start to attract developers for the zones and to undertake further work, such as gathering environmental data that can help developers with the consenting process.

RYA concerns
Of the 12 zones and sites announced the Royal Yachting Association has raised ‘particular concerns’ about plans to place a further tidal current installation in Strangford Lough.
 
Stuart Carruthers, RYA cruising manager, said: ‘We made it clear in our response to the consultation phase that the RYA does not believe that this area is suitable for a demonstration development. Further tidal current installations will compound navigational problems for legitimate users of the sea.
 
‘Recreational boaters are already having difficulty navigating safely with the combination of the SeaGen Tidal Turbine which is very much a surface piercing hazard (particularly when the beam is raised) and the Routen Wheel, a nearby area of whirlpools and overfalls.

‘Any further devices will only compound the problem.’
 
The site is located in ‘the Narrows’, the tricky entrance to and exit from Strangford Lough, with the tidal flows in the entrance reaching speeds of up to 7.5 knots at springs. In strong onshore winds breaking seas can extend well over a mile SE of the entrance. Even in much calmer conditions standing waves may be encountered.

He added: ‘We will be working to ensure that the installations are sensitively located in order not to block or restrict traditional navigation routes where tidal currents are utilised for safe and efficient passage making, such as around the Mull of Galloway and Portland Bill.

‘And that they are adequately marked with proper hazard marking and lighting and take into account underwater keel clearance.’

 
Any projects must go through the statutory planning process, including stakeholder and community consultation, gaining consent from relevant planning authorities before any development can take place.

 
See full article at Pratical Boat Owner  – click here

 

Boatowners are urged to check the state of their boats before venturing on the tidal Thames, following an increase in the number of mechanical incidents.

 

The Port of London Authority (PLA) has advised boatowners to make sure they carry out routine mechanical inspections before heading out onto the tidal Thames. The warning comes after an increase in the rate of mechanical incidents reported on the river, with 11 in the six weeks around Easter.

Skippers are encouraged to check they have sufficient tackle and are able to anchor safely in the case of difficulties such as engine failure. The PLA adds that navigating the tidal Thames can be tricky, with up to 1.2m waves and a tidal flow of up to four knots.

Darren Knight, assistant harbour master (recreational) at the PLA, said: “Owners need to be sure that their vessel is in a reliable condition and able to cope with these demands, where engines will have to work much harder than normal. “They also need to pause and think carefully as to whether their vessel is suitable to navigate on the tidal Thames.”
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

There were a total of 381 drownings and water-related deaths the UK in 2013, according to a report published today by the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).

 

This compares to 371 water-related deaths in 2012, and 407 in 2011. As in previous years, fatalities at the sea, on the beach or shoreline accounted for nearly a third (115), while a further 22 deaths happened at harbours, docks, marinas and inland or coastal ports.

More than half of the deaths (227) in 2013 were in inland waters, such as tidal and freshwater rivers, lakes and reservoirs.

Eight deaths occurred in the bath and six in swimming pools, while three happened in areas that are not normally watercourses such as marsh and flooded land.

The figures, which are published by the NWSF, include deaths in water that resulted from natural causes such as a heart attack, drowning or other fatal injuries resulting from falls into water and those that occurred during the course of water-based activities.

The NWSF’s Water Incident Database (WAID) reveals that in 2013, the age group with the highest number of fatalities (31) was males aged between 20-24.

Meanwhile, 0-19s accounted for 12 per cent of deaths (46), of which more than half were teenagers aged 15 to 19 (27). In the youngest age bracket of four and under, 10 children drowned.

The peak summer months of July and August witnessed the most deaths with 106 during this period. The leading activities were: people walking alongside water and falling in, swimming (predominantly in open water), and tombstoning – jumping into open water.

There were 260 deaths in England, 56 in Scotland, 41 in Wales and 11 in Northern Ireland. In England, the South West (53) and the South East (50) regions had the highest number of deaths.

The full UK regional breakdown is as follows:

  • Scotland (56)
  • South West (53)
  • South East (50)
  • Wales (41)
  • North West (39)
  • Eastern (36)
  • Yorkshire and the Humber (20)
  • West Midlands (20)
  • London (16)
  • East Midlands (14)
  • North East (12)
  • Northern Ireland (11)
  • At sea (7)
  • Isle of Man (3).

Jim Watson, deputy chairman of the NWSF, said: ‘Although the number of accidental drownings and water-related deaths has remained consistent in recent years, there should be no room for complacency, particularly as we enter the warmer summer months and more people are drawn to the water.

‘We encourage people to enjoy the UK’s waters, but to make sure they understand the risks and come home safely.’

A full copy of the UK water-related fatalities 2013 report can be viewed at: www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/waid/info/waid_fatalincidentreport_2013.xls.

WAID was developed by NWSF members, including: national partners – Canal and River Trust, British Sub Aqua Club, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, RoSPA and the Royal Life Saving Society; sports governing bodies; and regional and local organisations, including Cornwall Council. It was developed in partnership with the Department for Transport.
See full article and figures at Practical Boat Owner – click here

 

AOC Group has put a 200-acre private island just off the coast of Sardinia up for sale, but Isola di Mal Ventre comes with a catch.

 

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of owning their own private island? The allure of a Robinson Crusoe meets Richard Branson lifestyle is an undeniable as it is expensive. But what if you could own your own island for less than £1 million? Surely there’d have to be a catch, right?

AOC Group is selling a 200-acre island off the coast of Sardinia for 1.2 million euros (£952,000) and the only catch is; it’s empty.

Isola di Mal Ventre has been inhabited on-and-off since the Roman times and has a well and building foundations, but as far as man-made structures go, that’s about it.

Instead, the new owner is promised “beautiful sandy beaches” and “a wide variety of flora and fauna”. The sellers even suggest that it “may be possible to construct a jetty”, allowing short hops to the mainland in a matter of minutes.

What’s more, they quote a local architect, who says that a “low-rise eco-style villa” could be constructed on the largely granite island.

Private islands don’t often go up for sale in the Mediterranean, and AOC Group estimates that this is the only one currently on the market.

 
See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

 

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