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

 

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

 

Local authorities suspect a welding accident caused this huge blaze, and one quick-thinking local skipper caught the fire on camera.

 

There’s nothing more devastating for a boatowner than seeing your pride and joy go up in flames, but Larry Jodsass got a better view than most boat fire victims.

The 79-year-old retired entrepreneur lost his 31m superyacht ‘Polar Bear’ to an enormous fire last month (19 June), which local authorities suspect was caused by a welding accident.

The blaze was so large that it could be seen from all across Chula Vista harbour in San Diego, and quick-thinking skipper Kurt Roll launched his drone camera to take a closer look.

From the point of view of the remote-controlled gadget, we are treated to an excruciating close-up of the demise of ‘Polar Bear’.

Since the footage was uploaded to YouTube last month, it has received more than 1.8 million views, and it’s not hard to see why.

The vessel was valued at $24m (£14m) when it was launched just three years ago, and understandably Mr Jodsass was distraught: “Am I angry? No. Anger is not the right word. It was my toy, my wonderful, beautiful piece of equipment,” he told NBC San Diego. “I think it’s the most beautiful boat that ever has been built.”

See full article and video at Motorboats Monthly

Almost 1,000 people have downloaded anew Royal Yachting Association (RYA) smartphone app that aims to help the coastguard to track down missing boats. RYA SafeTrx is a smartphone app that enables boat users in UK territorial waters to plan their passage.

 

RYA SafeTrx, which is compatible with Android and iOS devices, allows users to plot and then upload their passage plan and estimated time of arrival.

If the estimated time of arrival is exceeded without the trip being completed, then the designated emergency contacts are automatically notified.

Using the data sent by the SafeTrx app during a voyage, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be able to pinpoint lost and stricken boats more quickly.

Keith Oliver, head of maritime operations at the MCA, said: ‘During a search and rescue incident, the UK coastguard collects vital information about the people and vessels involved.

‘When did they set off? Where were they going? When were they due back? What was their last known location?

‘These are all vital pieces of the puzzle and the coastguard welcomes any system that can contribute to the information gathering effort. RYA SafeTrx will help provide this information, meaning that valuable time is not lost.’

This technology has been in use in Ireland and Australia for some time, and now the RYA’s adoption allows members to take advantage of the service in UK territorial waters for free.

Non-members can download the app free of charge, and data logging credits are available in bundles of 10 for £1.49 or 20 for £2.49.

The app can also deliver performance analytics for those keen to plot their average speed or total distance travelled.

Stuart Carruthers, cruising manager at the RYA, said: ‘Although RYA SafeTrx is not intended as a replacement for regular approved safety devices (VHF, APIB, AIS, etc) it will be beneficial to the one million users of small powerboats, RIBs, PWCs and for dinghy cruisers for whom existing tracking technology is not always practical.

‘Until now a simple, cost-effective system of tracking and alerting has not been available for these boat users. When we learned about this app and its enormous safety benefits we knew that we had to bring it to the UK.’

RYA SafeTrx is available to download now from the iTunes app store, while Android users can find the app on the Google Play Store.
See article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

A yacht was destroyed by fire after catching alight in County Down, Northern Ireland early yesterday morning. The fierce fire engulfed a 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht near Rostrevor Pier.


Kilkeel RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were alerted to the fiercely burning 40ft two-masted glass fibre yacht, which was anchored southsouth east of Rostrevor Pier,Carlingford Lough.

The owner had been contacted and confirmed there were two gas cylinders aboard the yacht but no people.

The Kilkeel lifeboat Frank William Walton was launched at 2.20am and quickly reached the stricken yacht which very quickly was ablaze from bow to stern.

One of the propane gas cylinders had already exploded so the lifeboat with, four fire-fighters from Warrenpoint and a mobile fire fighting pump aboard, stood off at a safe distance.

When the fire had somewhat subsided the lifeboat returned to the yacht and the flames were extinguished.

The lifeboat left the firefighters and the pump ashore at Warrenpoint and returned safely to the boathouse in Kilkeel at 6.45am.

Helm Gerry Smyth said: ‘It was vital that the lifeboat crew, the firefighters and the lifeboat were kept out of danger whilst there was the possibility of the gas cylinders exploding.

‘The yacht was extensively damaged and still afloat when we left the scene but importantly no lives were lost.’

 

See article at Pratical Boat Owner – click here

 

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has cleared London Duck Tours to resume trips along the Thames, following last year’s mid-cruise fire.

 


Two vessels have been approved for use, following a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report, which pinpointed the cause of the blaze. It is believed that the boats’ buoyancy foam was to blame for the accidents, which resulted in 30 people being rescued and some passengers jumping into the Thames to avoid the flames.

An MCA spokesperson told the BBC: “The operator has been working to demonstrate that two of its vessels have been improved sufficiently to meet our safety requirements.

“We believe that we should shortly be in a position to issue a short-term certificate to allow them to operate for a period of three months.”

The company said in a statement on its website that it would be announcing the date of its return to the river “shortly”, with a normal service set to resume “as soon as possible”.

 

See article at Motorboats Monthly – click here

The RYA has launched a new app that could help to reduce the amount of time it takes the coastguard to track down a missing boat.

RYA SafeTrx, which is compatible with Android and iOS devices, allows users to plot and then upload their passage plan and estimated time of arrival.

If the ETA is exceeded without the trip being completed, then the designated emergency contacts are automatically notified.

Using the data sent by the SafeTrx app during a voyage, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be able to pinpoint lost and stricken boats more quickly.

Keith Oliver, head of maritime operations at the MCA, explained why this information is so valuable:

“During a search and rescue incident, the UK coastguard collects vital information about the people and vessels involved.

“When did they set off? Where were they going? When were they due back? What was their last known location?

“These are all vital pieces of the puzzle and the coastguard welcomes any system that can contribute to the information gathering effort. RYA SafeTrx will help provide this information, meaning that valuable time is not lost.”

This technology has been in use in Ireland and Australia for some time, and now the RYA’s adoption allows members to take advantage of the service in UK territorial waters for free.

Non-members can download the app free of charge, and data logging credits are available in bundles of ten for £1.49 or 20 for £2.49.

The app can also deliver performance analytics for those keen to plot their average speed or total distance travelled.

Stuart Carruthers, cruising manager at the RYA, hailed the app as a potentially huge benefit to small vessel owners:

“Although RYA SafeTrx is not intended as a replacement for regular approved safety devices (VHF, APIB, AIS, etc.) it will be beneficial to the one million users of small powerboats, RIBs, PWCs and for dinghy cruisers for whom existing tracking technology is not always practical.

“Until now a simple, cost-effective system of tracking and alerting has not been available for these boat users. When we learned about this app and its enormous safety benefits we knew that we had to bring it to the UK”.

RYA SafeTrx is available to download now from the iTunes app store, while Android users can find the app on the Google Play Store.
See article and video at Motorboats Monthly – click here

0

Posted:

Categories: Security

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)20 7929 4058
Fax: +44 (0)20 7933 9350
Click here to email us

Velos Insurance Services Limited
52-54 Gracechurch Street
London, EC3V 0EH
View map

Connect with us


Latest News

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