Tensions between Spain and Britain over territorial waters surrounding Gibraltar came to a head this week when a Spanish ship sailed too close to Gibraltar Harbour for some Diplomatic tensions between Spain and Britain continue to mount as the UK Foreign Office raises “serious concerns” with the Spanish Ambassador about the actions of a Spanish ship off the coast of Gibraltar.

On 19 November the Acting Permanent Under Secretary Matthew Rycroft summoned the Spanish Ambassador Federico Trillo to a meeting regarding what he described as a “significant incursion” into British territorial waters by Spanish ship RV Romon,which came within 250 metres of Gibraltar Harbour and perilously close to boats at anchor on 18 and 19 November.

During the meeting, Rycroft also highlighted the “unacceptable border delays” which continue to affect Gibraltarians and visitors.

A statement from the Foreign Office said: “The European Commission has given Spain clear recommendations which, if implemented, would improve the functioning of the border. The UK expects the Spanish government to act on these recommendations without delay.”

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The owner of a RHIB that smashed into a yacht rendering it useless has been fined £1,500 in court. The 28ft yacht ‘Charlotte-Anne’ was moored at Killyleagh, in Northern Ireland, when the RHIB ‘Red Rubber’ crashed into its side.

Portaferry RNLI attended the incident, which occurred around 2am on 13 July, 2012.

Ralph Carson, 56, from Killyleagh, who owned the RHIB, was sentenced at Downpatrick Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

He had pleaded guilty to three charges: failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that it was operated in a safe manner, failing to navigate it safely, and failing to keep a lookout.

Carson was fined £500 for each of the three charges.

Carson, who was navigating at the time of the incident, was also ordered to pay an offender’s charge of £15.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) assisted police in bringing about the prosecution.

Bill Bennett, area operations manager for Northern Ireland for the MCA, said: ‘It is very important that all vessels navigate safely, have a proper passage planned and maintain a good lookout at all times. Failure to do so could result in catastrophic consequences.’

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Failure to pay the tax and keep proof of payment on board could mean a detained boat – Cruising sailors in Greece are facing increased costs next year as the Government plans to impose a tax on all leisure and commercial tourist craft.

If the law is imposed, the tax will be introduced on 1 January 2014, as a circulation tax and will mean yachts and motorboats between 7m and 12m will have to pay up to €400 each year.

Vessels of more than 12m will be charged €100 per metre every year with concessions for permanently based yachts of 30% or a choice to pay €10 per metre per month.

The Cruising Association, based in Limehouse in London’s Docklands, has been monitoring the situation in Greece as it has almost 1,500 members sailing throughout the islands.

CA member, Jim Baerselman, who has sailed in Greek waters for more than 30 years, said this was a significant tax which could put many people off cruising in Greece.

He has been in contact with a Greek tax accountant, who said: ‘The tax will be charged for all recreational and commercial ships and small boats, regardless of their flag, which sail, are moored or anchored in Greek waters.’

 

Keep proof of payment

Mr Baerselman added that the Minister of Marine and Aegean had said yachts or motorboats sailing in Greek waters needed to keep proof of payment with their registration document which is issued when entering Greece.

Failure to pay the tax and keep proof of payment on board could mean the boat would be detained by the Port, Tax and Customs Authority and a fine of 100% of the tax due to be paid imposed.

Mr Baerselman said the proposed law also stated any boat cruising out of Greek waters after paying the annual tax would not be liable for a refund but the payment would remain valid for the current year.

Why the tax?

The aims of the tax are to ‘strengthen public revenue’ and to ‘correspond to the type and charges made by neighbouring countries, but not to act as a disincentive to tourists.’

The proposed tax is part of an omnibus bill sweeping up a range of detailed legislation and is an addition to a general maritime bill passed in the Greek parliament last month which omitted reference to leisure craft pending consultations.

A final decision on the proposed tax is due to be made in the Greek parliament by the end of November.

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The remains of luxury motor yacht that caught fire on bonfire night and sank in an Isle of Wight Marina have been raised.

The 23-metre long (75.46ft) cruisier Kahu, estimated to be worth $5.6million by Ancasta International Boat Sales which was selling it, became engulfed by flames while moored at East Cowes Marina on 5 November 2013.

 

There were no casualties at all and nobody was onboard the Kahu at the time of the fire.

The submerged vessel has now been raised off the seabed, with air lift bags utilised to bring it up to just below the water surface from the river bed.

This morning a crane lifted the hull top clear of the water level, in order to allow water in the hull to be pumped or drained out. The vessel was then placed on a bunded flat top barge for transportation to a disposal site.

Parking at the marina was severely restricted, and no berth holders or visitors were allowed onto the pontoons during the lift.

Tomorrow should see the divers undertake a clearance of the seabed where the Kahu’s hull had rested, and a decontamination programme by Adler and Allan of the salvage containment area and barge.

The flat top barge, with Kahu onboard, will then be towed to Camber Docks in Portsmouth, subject to agreement by Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth and Portsmouth International Port Harbour Master.

The Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service led the emergency response to the fire on Kahu, whilst Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is co-ordinating the recovery of Kahu, and the ensuing environmental clean-up operation.

Anti-pollution plan

Cowes Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh said: ‘We are making every effort to minimise disruption to river and harbour users and local residents, and I would like to apologise for any temporary disturbances that there may be over the next few days.’

A 360 degree boom was placed around the sunken vessel, designed to catch any oil escaping from the sunken Kahu, which is then skimmed off the water and put into tanks to be taken ashore.

It is estimated that approximately one third of the yacht’s diesel fuel has been recovered so far and removed ashore into a road waste oil tanker with the remainder still in the fuel tanks of the yacht.

Adler and Allan will continue this oil containment and removal until the risk of pollution has been eliminated, with the boat lift and transportation completed.

Meanwhile, CHC is carrying out inspections on the River Medina and around Cowes Harbour to check for instances of pollution. CHC is not aware of any significant environmental impact to date.

Report any pollution sightings

Members of the public are invited to report any evidence of pollution to the Cowes Harbour Office by email via chc@cowes.co.uk or by phone on 01983 293952.

CHC has issued an Emergency Temporary General Direction which restricts the transit of vessels over 48m in length without the written permission of the Harbour Master. A Local Notice to Mariners has also been issued, and both documents are available on the Harbour Commission’s website at www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk
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Practical Boat Owner has teamed up with The Yacht Harbour Association (TYHA) to find the ‘GJW Marina of the Year’.

Nominations are open to any Gold Anchor rated marina but are made exclusively by customers. The number of berths in a marina is taken into consideration when counting nominations and they are calculated on a percentage of capacity basis.

There are four categories:
British marina of the year – available to UK coastal (tidal) marinas
Inland marina of the year – available to UK inland (non tidal) only
International marina of the year – available to non-UK marinas only
Employee of year – an international award, nominated by the boater

All nominations will be reviewed by a panel of independent judges, who will decide on the winner based solely on the customers’ feedback.

As part of the nomination form customers are invited to highlight an outstanding member of staff. This information is used to decide the Employee of the Year.

Category winners and the three runners up in each category will be announced at TYHA annual general meeting on 5 February 2014.

The award is also sponsored by PBO’s sister magazine Motor Boat & Yachting.

PBO Editor David Pugh said: ‘Over the last five years PBO’s Marina Price Guide has become established as the number one source for boat owners to find competitive berthing in their area.

‘The GJW Marina of the Year awards complement this by allowing customers to vote for their best marina, based on the facilities they enjoy and the services they receive. ‘We’re delighted to be involved.’

All about the boaters’ experience

TYHA General Manager Gareth Turnbull said: ‘This award is about the boaters experience and through our Gold Anchor Award Scheme we have inspected the marinas to ensure they are well managed and eligible to be nominated for marina of the year.

‘Whoever the winner is, they will certainly be offering something special to their customers.’

Award recipients have the right to use the logo and they will receive a framed certificate and trophy.
As well as having the rights to use the branding, winners and runners up will be announced in Practical Boat Owner, Marina World and Motor Boats and Yachting and through a press release issued by TYHA.

To apply email gturnbull@britishmarine.co.uk who will register your marina for the award. All nominations must be received by TYHA by the 1 January 2014 and the panel will confer during January to select the winner of each category.
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A major Atlantic storm has struck parts of England and Wales leaving three people dead and a trail of devastation in its wake. Several sailors were rescued in the build-up to the St Jude’s Storm, which battered boats along the southern regions of the United Kingdom.

Flights, train and ferry services were cancelled as gale-force winds and heavy rain swept through overnight and into this morning, leaving thousands of homes without power.

Cruise passengers’ cars were damaged when ‘severe seas and 70mph winds’ hit the Port of Dover.

The Met Office recorded a maximum wind gust of 99mph at 6am at Needles Old Battery, Isle of Wight.

Three people have been reported dead: a teenager in Kent and a man in Watford were killed by falling trees, another man was found dead in a collapsed house in west London after a falling tree caused a suspected gas explosion.

A teenager is also feared dead after being swept out to sea, while swimming off Newhaven’s West Beach, yesterday afternoon.

 

Sailors rescued

Weather warnings were issued by the Met Office ahead of the storm’s arrival and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) called for boat owners to secure their vessels and then ‘stay away from the sea.’

But for some, last-minute preparations resulted in rescues.

Yesterday morning, Poole all-weather lifeboat was tasked to assist two people on an eight-metre yacht, who had got into difficulty while securing the cruiser’s lines in Poole Harbour.

As they prepared for the imminent storms, the yacht slipped its mooring and drifted into Whitley Lake, on the north eastern corner of Poole Harbour.

The lifeboat crew found the vessel heeled over in a precarious position and aground. The lifeboat crew attached a line to the yacht but could not get alongside in the shallow water. The inshore lifeboat attended and helped to get the vessel afloat and upright.

The yacht was returned to its mooring and made secure.

RNLI volunteer deputy coxswain Glen Mallen said: ‘With conditions worsening, the vessel would have not weathered the storm, it was a challenge to get it upright with the conditions out in the Harbour, but a job well done.’

Marooned as the storm approached

The Dart D Class lifeboat also rescued two yachtsmen trapped on their yacht as a storm approached.

The two sailors were marooned on their 28ft Falmouth workboat, moored above Dittisham on the River Dart. They had gone to check the yacht in their small inflatable tender with an outboard. By the time they had finished the weather conditions had deteriorated and with a severe storm approaching, they requested help.

They were taken on board the lifeboat and taken in near gale conditions, with their tender, to Dittisham.

Car damage at Europe’s busiest international ferry port

The Port of Dover has now re-opened and ferry services have resumed from the Eastern Docks with the Port’s tugs in assistance to ensure the safety of its customers.

Whilst there has only been some relatively minor superficial damage to the Eastern Docks, the Western Docks bore the brunt of the storm with around 50 Fred Olsen cruise customer cars, parked at the terminal, being damaged by the severe seas overtopping breakwaters in the high winds which at times were gusting above 70 miles per hour.

The Port of Dover confirms it will be providing every assistance to its cruise customers in dealing with insurance claims, onward travel arrangements or any other requirement to support them following this very unfortunate turn of events.

Mike Rodwell, Managing Director at Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, said: ‘Together with the Port of Dover, we will do everything we possibly can to ensure that none of our customers is inconvenienced due to this storm and will be liaising closely with them to prepare for their arrival in Dover next week.’

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As severe weather is forecast over the weekend boaters are advised to secure their mooring lines and check their boat, or ask their marina to do it. Boaters should brace themselves for severe weather and storms over the weekend and into next week, says the Met Office.

There will be heavy spells of rain and strong winds over the next couple of days, while on Sunday night and Monday morning there is a risk that a significant storm could develop, with the southern half of the UK expected to be worst hit and the potential for winds of more than 80mph, particularly along the coast.

Eddy Carroll, chief forecaster at the Met Office, said: “This storm doesn’t exist at the moment, but our forecasts models predict it is likely to develop in the west Atlantic on Saturday. Then it’s likely to rapidly intensify just west of the UK late on Sunday before tracking across England and Wales early on Monday.

“There is still a chance this storm may take a more southerly track and miss the UK, bringing impacts elsewhere in northern Europe, but people should be aware there is a risk of severe weather and significant disruption. With that in mind, people should keep up to date with and act on the advice in our forecasts and warnings as the situation develops.”

Meanwhile, Barry Goldman, chief operating officer for the Port of Jersey, said boatowners should check their moorings ahead of the predicted weather.

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Number of visitors to boat show up 2% over last year to 111,963

As the sun shone down on the last evening of the PSP Southampton Boat Show, organisers were left to celebrate a increase in attendance over last year, bucking a trend seen at most other major European shows.

Over the ten days of the event, 111,963 visitors came through the gates, up 2% on last year’s figure, despite some changeable autumn weather that saw a number of torrential downpours over the course of the show.

More than 120 boats made their debuts at Southampton, with the number of exhibitors totalling more than 600, representing 22 countries around the word.Murray Ellis, MD of show organiser National Boat Shows, said: “This year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show has been another world-class event. Visitors have enjoyed their day out with us and a good number have taken the opportunity to try different types of boating and watersports”.  

“Seeing marine businesses making sales here confirms this show as a strong selling platform; people visit our Southampton show to buy boats and this has been very evident this year.”This is reflected in exhibitor comments from the show. Ashley Overton, sales director of boat dealer Ancasta, said: “Not only is there a feel-good factor, but after several years people are putting hands in their pockets and spending money.

“Sales have been good; we’re up on last year, on both power and sail boats”, Ian Braham, head of finance house Lombard, meanwhile, said marine finance enquiries at the show were up 10% compared to last year, and that business in the first six months of the year was up a significant 26% over the first half of 2012.

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Engineers in Italy have succeeded in setting the cruise ship Costa Concordia upright, 20 months after it ran aground off the island of Giglio. They said that the unprecedented salvage effort “reached degree zero [vertical], which was our target”.
In the operation that took all of Monday and most of the night, they used cables and metal water tanks to roll the ship onto a platform.

The Costa Concordia capsized in January 2012, killing 32 people. The bodies of two of the victims of the disaster, by the island of Giglio, have never been found. There are hopes that they may be located during the operation.

Months of work lie ahead, assessing and repairing damage to the ship, before it can be towed away to be destroyed – probably next spring.

‘Double Titanic’

The ship was declared completely upright shortly after 04:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Tuesday. Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Authority, said the vessel was now sitting on a platform built on the sea bed. “A perfect operation, I must say,” said Franco Porcellacchia, leader of the technical team for Costa Cruise, the owner of the ship.

He added that no environmental spill had been detected so far – one of the main aims given the pristine waters of the marine sanctuary in which it capsized. “I think the whole team is proud of what they achieved because a lot of people didn’t think it could be done,” said salvage master Nick Sloane.

When the vessel was finally righted in the early hours of Tuesday morning, there was a giant cheer from people gathered at Giglio harbour, says the BBC’s Matthew Price, and rescue workers have been out celebrating with coffees.

As daylight broke, the now-upright, brown hulk of the ship was visible – its hull muddy and crushed from 20 months spent submerged on its side.

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A total of 7,475 visitors flocked to the opening day of the PSP Southampton Boat Show 2013.

Numbers were down seven per cent on last year’s first day, which attracted 8,014 people but organisers said advance ticket sales were going strong, with more tickets sold in the last 24 hours compared to the same period a year ago.

Britain’s best-loved boat show got underway on Friday with a hive of activity, world launches and special guests who braved the mixed conditions of sunshine and showers.

The celebrity cast of The Mayflower Theatre’s Christmas pantomime: ‘Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates’ got the show off to a dramatic start, as Brian Conley and Lesley Joseph – of ITV’s Birds of a Feather fame – posed on a replica Phoenician ship.

Lesley said: ‘It’s fantastic, the show is wonderful and the boats are amazing, it’s like entering Fantasy Island.

‘I have a little Scow dinghy myself. I learnt to sail about 20 years ago and although I’ve been too busy to do much lately, I love being on the sea whenever I can.’

Brian said: ‘I’ve had my fair share of moments on boats over the years, I’ve got a few friends who own boats but some of the superyachts here are amazing, like works of art.

‘I won’t be getting one unless I win the lottery or unless lots of people come and see me in the pantomime with the lovely Lesley Joseph.’

Something for everyone

Royal Marines joined PSP’s managing director Frank Dixie, marketing director Jo Dixie-Goodwin and National Boat Shows managing director Murray Ellis for the official ribbon cutting.

Murray said: ‘We are pleased to present an astounding 30 world debuts, 48 UK debuts, three European launches and 39 boats which are brand new to the PSP Southampton Boat Show.

‘This, teamed with new marine technology and the host of attractions which are on offer for visitors to try, means that this year’s Show really does offer something for everyone.’

The opening day saw the world debuts of Princess Yachts International’s 43, V48 and 88 Motor Yachts, the Fairline Squadron 48 and Sunseeker’s Manhattan 55, 68 and 80 Sport Yachts to name but a few.

Sunseeker’s launch event included music from Iolla Grace and Amore, and a guest appearance from Top Gear star Richard Hammond.

Other first day highlights included Sailing Rallies’ world launch of its brand new Baltic Sailing event; the unveiling of the new Lifedge Waterproof Case for iPhone5s on the Scanstrut stand; and the naming ceremony for the Global Ocean Race where Mike Gascoyne’s Akilaria RC3 Class 40 Caterham Challenge and the Forty (1) Design Class 40 of Team Concise were christened together with crews, team principals, press and visitors joining the celebrations.

Show highlights

The 10-day show runs until Sunday, playing host to thousands of boats, brands, products and suppliers all set on one of Europe’s largest purpose-built marinas with over 2km of pontoons.

Visitors can get on the water, pick up new skills or refresh old ones with On The Water’s Try-A-Boat, Get Afloat and Go Solo from the Artemis Offshore Academy, plus free classes at the Skipper Skills attraction and the RYA Active Marina Experience.

Find out more and book tickets at www.southamptonboatshow.com

 

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