Practical Boat Owner: One yachtsman was killed, another lost overboard and three rescued from the 65ft yacht Platino, in extreme conditions off the coast of New Zealand.
Yesterday, the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) was alerted at 11.20am that one man had been killed and another man knocked overboard from the 20m Platino, which sustained serious rigging damage in winds of up to 75km/h (40 knots).
Sea conditions were described as ‘extremely dangerous’ and ‘too hazardous to be on deck’. The search area is out of range to all but fixed wing aircraft.
A search by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) got under way yesterday for the missing crewman, aged 63, who is believed to have been swept overboard after being hit by the boom in high winds, which later caused the yacht’s rigging to collapse before midday yesterday.
The body of the man who died remained on board – as his fellow crew tried to secure the rigging and the mast that was drifting alongside the yacht.
The RCCNZ kept in contact with the three remaining crew overnight via satellite phone.
The container ship Southern Lily re-routed and a rescue line was used to help get the trio safely on board around 3pm today.
Meanwhile, an RNZAF P3 Orion resumed searching today for the missing sailor.
The aircraft subsequently took position above the two vessels later this morning, to provide support and communications during the rescue of the three crew from Platino.
Practical Boat Owner: A solo sailor called for RNLI assistance twice in 24 hours after his yacht became grounded on the rocks and when he managed to refloat, a damaged propeller left him drifting helplessly towards Yarmouth Pier.
The single-handed skipper, had run aground on Hamstead Ledge rocks in the western Solent during Friday afternoon.
As the tide dropped, the yacht heeled over steeply with the result that the skipper could not deploy his anchor in preparation for refloating.
He called for assistance at 6.30pm and the lifeboat went to his aid. The small rigid inflatable Y boat (RIB) was launched and deployed the anchor for him. It was estimated that he would refloat around 1.30am.
At 3.30am on Saturday morning, the lifeboat was called again to Wallybird II.
Although the skipper had managed to pull himself clear of the rocks as his yacht floated, it was only then that he discovered that his propeller had been damaged and he was unable to manoeuvre.
There was little or no wind so he was also unable to sail and was drifting helplessly towards Yarmouth Pier. The lifeboat reached him just before 4am and took him in tow into Yarmouth where he arrived safely at 4.30am.
Yachting Boating World: The 2016 Southampton Boat Show returns in September with world and UK launches, new brands and a new layout. Tickets are now on sale.
The 10-day event will showcase thousands of boats, brands and equipment and will feature the very latest world launches from powerboats to sail.
Confirmed for a world launch at the show are the Oyster 675, the Greenline 36, the Spirit 47CR, the Cormate Utility 23 R and the X4 and X6 from X-Yachts.
The Antares 7 and Antares 8, Atlantis 43, Azimut 55S, Elling E6 from Q Marine (Poole), J/11S from Key Yachting, the Dehler 34, Fairline Yachts’ Targa 53 OPEN and its Squadron 65 HardTop and Charles Watson’s RM 1270 will have UK debuts.
New brands already confirmed for this year’s show include Cormate and Waterspoor.
Following unprecedented demand from exhibitors for undercover space, a new show layout will also be revealed for 2016.
Ocean Hall and Windward Hall will be merged with an additional 550 square metres of space added to create a new look Ocean Hall for 2016.
Enhancements to the layout will also see Beneteau and Jeanneau move from their historical space on the land to a much bigger display on the marina.
In total, Beneteau will be bringing 19 boats and Jeanneau 22 boats across their sail and power ranges.
Also exhibiting for the first time will be Monte Carlo Yachts who will be showcasing the MCY 65.
There will also be plenty of opportunities for visitors to get out on the water and experience dinghy sailing, power boating or taking a ride on a RIB.
These free attractions include:
- On the Water’s “Get Afloat”, supported by the team at Rockley: a tailor made attraction offering visitors aged 8-16 the chance to discover dinghy sailing and Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP);
- “Try-a-Boat” sessions from On the Water to allow visitors to experience being out on the water on a varied selection of vessels;
- “Wet Wheels”, a 9m Cheetah Catamaran that has been specially adapted for wheelchair access. Powered by two of Suzuki’s flagship V6 300hp outboard engines, it is capable of driving at 40 knots;
- The magnificent Artemis tall ship will be taking centre stage on the marina, with visitors being able to climb aboard.
Other attractions will include:
- Bumper Boats in the arena for the younger visitors;
- A number of spectacular air display’s over the marina;
- A festival stage in Solent Park with live music, talks from industry experts and fashion shows across the 10-day event;
- The Global Challenge Sailing Experience on a 72ft round the world ocean race yacht;
- The VIP Platinum Experience which includes a trip out on a luxury motor yacht.
Practical Boat Owner: Two charged after cannabis worth thousands is found on a yacht at Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne.
Two men who were on the vessel were arrested and are due to appear before Brighton magistrates this morning.
Anthony Keiran Poyser, 28, and Harrison Law, 21, both of no fixed address, are each charged with being jointly concerned in the improper importation of cannabis to the United Kingdom.
Cannabis is a class B controlled drug.
Chief Inspector Emma Brice, Eastbourne district police commander, said: ‘I am aware of the concern about the security of smaller ports and harbours around Britain’s coastline.
‘I would like to reassure people that police are alert to the situation and will respond whenever circumstances demand.’
Practical Boat Owner: Coastal fatality figures released today by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show the number of deaths at the UK coast reached a five-year high in 2015, with 168 people losing their lives.
The number of near-fatal incidents was higher still, with the RNLI’s UK lifeboat crews and lifeguards saving 385 lives in 2015, according to the organisation’s incident data.
The figures are released as the charity enters the third year of its national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water, which aims to halve accidental coastal deaths by 2024.
The campaign is targeted at adult men, who account for most incidents. Last year saw an increase in the number of men losing their lives at the coast. Between 2011 and 2014 men have accounted for 75% of coastal deaths but, in 2015, this increased to 84%.
Around half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water. Of the 168 deaths last year, more than half (52%) did not intend to get wet – people taking part in activities such as coastal walking, running, climbing or angling.
Coastal walking and running accounted for 21% of last year’s coastal deaths.
A father’s story
Phil Bindon’s son Mike was lost at sea in 2014, aged 23, after being swept in by an unexpected wave. Phil and his daughters Katie and Jenny are sharing the story of their personal tragedy, to warn others of the power and unpredictability of the water. Phil says:
‘Mike and his friend were at the coast at Polzeath. A freak wave caught Mike and swept him into the water. The lifeboats and helicopter were out searching for hours. I just wanted Mike back home. It was very hard as a parent to know that he was out there somewhere and there was nothing I could do about getting him back.
‘Mike’s body has never been found. It breaks my heart. No one expects to lose a child. An accident like this is a tragedy that I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through. I want people to learn from Mike’s death and understand how dangerously unpredictable the sea can be. Accidents like this can happen to anyone.’
The main dangers the RNLI is warning people about while at the coast are cold water, slips and falls, rip currents and waves.
James Millidge, RNLI coastal safety manager, says: ‘People need to treat the water with respect – it’s powerful and unpredictable. Each year RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards save hundreds of lives but, sadly, not everyone can be saved. Over 160 lives are lost at the UK coast each year and the real tragedy of the situation is that many of these deaths could have been prevented.
‘Cold water is a real killer. People often don’t realise how cold our seas can be – even in summer months the sea temperature rarely exceeds 12oc, which is low enough to trigger cold water shock. If you enter the water suddenly at that temperature, you’ll start gasping uncontrollably, which can draw water into your lungs and cause drowning. The coldness also numbs you, leaving you helpless – unable to swim or shout for help.
‘The fact that over half of the people who die at the coast each year never planned to enter the water suggests people are also not taking enough care along the coastline itself. We’re warning people to stay away from cliff edges, particularly where there is slippery, unstable or uneven ground; stick to marked paths and keep an eye on the water – watch out for unexpected waves which can catch you out and sweep you into the water.
‘If you’re planning to get into the water be aware that, even if it looks calm on the surface, there can be strong rip currents beneath the surface, which can quickly drag you out to sea. The sea is powerful and can catch out even the strongest and most experienced swimmers.’
Double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell is supporting the campaign. He says: ‘UK coastline is beautiful and should be enjoyed – but it’s really important that people treat the water with respect. From personal experience I know how powerful and unpredictable the sea can be. A seemingly calm situation can quickly turn into the exact opposite. We’re urging people to be aware of the danger.’
The charity is asking people to visit RNLI.org/RespectTheWater where they will find information on coastal hazards, how to keep themselves safe, and what to do should they or someone else end up in trouble in the water. On social media search #RespectTheWater.
Practical Boat Owner: One of the key announcements at the recent Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster Instructors’ Conference was that, from 2017, there will be a single RYA Day Skipper Practical certificate.
This brings the RYA in line with other international sailing schemes who do not differentiate between the certificates obtained when you learn to sail in different areas of the world.
Richard Falk, the RYA’s director of training and qualifications said: ‘In simple terms the current arrangement is that if you undertake an RYA Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper course in waters designated as being tidal then you a) learn about tides (both in theory and in practice) and b) receive a certificate that indicates you have undertaken the training in tidal conditions.
‘If you undertake the same courses in waters designated to be non – tidal you a) learn nothing about tides (either in theory or practically) and b) are issued with a non – tidal certificate.’
Richard says there are three key flaws with the current process:
1) Differentiating between what is tidal and what is non – tidal is not a simple black and white question. Trying to categorise waters across the entire world where tidal ranges vary from 17 metres down to .1 of a metre with every point along that tidal continuum being covered is simply not feasible. What constitutes a tidal region? Even our own training centres cannot agree on this with some suggesting that anything less than a 4 metre tidal range does not count and others suggesting 1 metre is perfectly adequate.
2) The pattern of boating has changed. Many people now choose to undertake a course in one region but then go on to charter or cruise in a wide range of regions around the world – some of those are tidal and some are not. Therefore, it seems to make sense that everyone who undertakes one of the two courses outlined above should get at least an understanding of the theory of tide, and where possible also gain some experience in tide from a practical viewpoint. Under the new arrangements EVERY person undertaking either a Day Skipper or Coastal Skipper course will come away with at least a theoretical understanding of tide – ensuring they are better prepared for boating in a wider range of locations than is currently the case.
3) Customer feedback is that the current system of parallel schemes is confusing and irrelevant. Whilst some RYA schools feel strongly about this issue the feedback from customers is that they find the need for two schemes and such labelling as confusing and unnecessary. Under the new arrangements the situation will be clearer to the customer whilst ensuring that more people than ever before will have at least a basic understanding of tides.
Richard added: ‘We have about 600 RYA schools to which this tidal / non – tidal designation applies. Of these we have had strong concerns voiced by about 10 schools, all of which are Solent based.
‘Sadly some of these have resorted to misinformation and misinterpretation in order to try and garner support for a reversal of this decision. The matter has been discussed over the last three years at YMI conferences and with a large number of schools both in the UK and overseas, not to mention with students and charter companies.
‘The overall sentiment is that this is a very positive initiative and one that is long overdue.
‘The key message is that nothing is being removed from any syllabus. In fact, we are requiring schools in non – tidal regions to now begin to teach the theory of tides. I cannot for the life of me understand how this can be a bad thing.’
Yachting Monthly: A new offshore wind farm at Blyth, off the coast of Northumberland, has been approved and will be complete by the end of 2017.
Work for the EDF Energy project has already begun onshore, and offshore work will start in 2017 to install five turbines with a total of 41.5MW capacity. It is anticipated that the turbines will provide enough low carbon electricity to power 33 000 homes. The project has permission for a maximum total generating capacity of almost 100 MW. More turbines will be added at a later date.
The power generated by the wind farm will be supplied to an electricity substation at Blyth for transmission to the National Grid. At its peak there will be around 200 people working on the project.
The Blyth Offshore wind project will be built by EDF Energy Renewables, a 50-50 UK joint venture between EDF Energies Nouvelles and EDF Energy. It plans to complete construction of the first five turbines in 2017.
The windfarm will use state-of-the-art ‘gravity base’ foundation, which will be large pre-fabriacted concrete structures that will be built on the Tyne, floated into location and sunk.
Matthieu Hue, EDF Energy Renewables CEO, said:
‘As a company, we already have a strong presence in the North East, in low carbon electricity generation and serving customers including our first offshore wind farm at Teesside so we’re pleased to be able to add another project to our portfolio in the region. We are delighted that the gravity based foundations will be made in Newcastle. The Port of Blyth will be used for operations and maintenance and the blades for the turbines will be made on the Isle of Wight.’
Practical Boat Owner: Greek authorities have drafted new legislation in the way they charge a tax on all boats in their waters – and again the Cruising Association (CA) is again working with them to introduce a fair system for all.
The Greek Government brought out the new TPP (Cruising) tax 18 months ago which imposed a new duty on all private and commercial craft using Greek waters – but the system of paying the tax was never properly introduced.
At that time the CA negotiated significant changes to the bill and managed to change the way Port Police interacted with yachtsmen – removing the need to report to Port Police except once a year.
The gist of the new legislation is similar to the original TPP but has gone back to the basic premise of an annual tax payable from January to December from where the TPP stated.
Chris Robb, a CA member who has sailed in Greek waters for many years, said: ‘Now this new tax has been announced we intend to try to work with the current Greek Government to make sure the rates of tax are fair and that the method of collection is simple and easy for us to comply with.
‘But the first point of contention is that in the rates they have announced, you will see a huge jump between an 11.9 metre boat and a 12.1 metre boat. This rate jump is in my view unacceptable.
‘The Cruising association, as we did last time, will endeavour to co-operate with the Greek Government to produce a fair and easy to pay tax. From the draft bill it appears that everything that we managed to agree last time has been forgotten – with one exception, that under 12 metre boats can pay by the month.
‘There are a lot of unknowns in the draft bill which we will seek to get answers to. We assume that they will try to have this Tax in action by the New Year.’
Yachting Monthly World: Sailors, beach-goers and other water users are being asked to help out with the Great British Beach Clean from 16-19 September 2016.
The Marine Conservation Society is asking for sailors, as well as other beach-lovers to volunteer to join them on the beaches for the Great British Beach Clean in September.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) wants to tackle the huge quantity of litter washing up on the UK’s shores, and the charity says it cannot do it without public support. They urgently need volunteers to take part in the UK’s biggest beach clean and litter survey, which takes place on the third weekend in September.
In 2015, just over 6,000 volunteers cleaned 340 beaches, recording the largest amount of litter per kilometre – a staggering 3,298 pieces.
MCS Beachwatch Manager, Lauren Eyles says it’s crucial we do something to tackle rising litter levels:
‘Over the last decade, we’ve recorded a huge hike in the amount of litter found on our beaches – up by over 65 per cent. We need help and anyone can simply volunteer to take part.’
This year’s MCS Great British Beach Clean takes place on the 16, 17, 18, and 19 September, and will involve thousands of volunteers taking to the beaches all and around the UK coast. They’ll clean up and record the rubbish they find. The event is being supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Clara Govier, Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said:
‘It’s really important for everyone to learn about the dangers of marine litter and I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting the Marine Conservation Society who are tackling this important cause. I would urge anyone who has the time to spare to take part in this beach clean.”
Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from hazardous litter in our seas. Hundreds of species of marine wildlife accidentally eat, or become tangled up in litter – and it’s also hazardous to people.
Find out more at www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch or telephone 01989 566017.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is the UK charity dedicated to the protection of our seas, shores and wildlife. MCS campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries, and protection of marine life. Through education, community involvement and collaboration, MCS raises awareness of the many threats that face our seas and promotes individual, industry and government action to protect the marine environment.
MCS provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the annual Good Beach Guide, the Good Fish Guide on sustainable seafood, as well as promoting public participation in volunteer projects such as The Great British Beach Clean and Basking Shark Watch. www.mcsuk.org
Practical Boat Owner: Two men who sailed a yacht carrying almost a tonne of cocaine across the Atlantic have been sentenced to more than 34 years in prison.
Sailing the yacht were Raymond Aalders, 47, and skipper, Hendrik Brugmans, 69, both Dutch nationals. National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators found evidence that Brugmans was paid 1.2 million Euros for making the trip.
They were both arrested after the yacht Golem was intercepted by a Border Force cutter off the coast of Rye on 31 August 2015.
At the time of its interception the Golem had it’s navigation beacon turned off and was noticeably listing to one side.
The 56ft yacht was escorted into Dover marina, where a search by specialist Border Force teams revealed hundreds of packages of drugs concealed in specially made hides in a workshop, water tank, and underneath benches.
In interviews with NCA officers they both admitted sailing the vessel from Curacao in the southern Caribbean. The boat’s destination was believed to have been the Netherlands.
Forensic tests on the packages revealed the cocaine was 70 percent pure, and if adulterated and sold in the UK would have had a potential street value of around £120 million.
Both Brugmans and Aalders pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs and were sentenced today at Maidstone Crown Court to 20 years and nine months and 14 years respectively.
Matt Rivers from the NCA’s border investigation team said: ‘These two men were involved in an audacious plot to smuggle millions of pounds worth of high purity class A drugs into Europe.
‘Their reckless attempts to avoid detection by breaching sailing regulations could have had extremely dangerous consequences.
‘It is believed the final destination of the boat was to be the Netherlands but given the sheer scale of this seizure, it is likely that a large amount of the drugs would have ended up being sold on the streets of the UK.
‘The NCA will continue to work with Border Force to disrupt the organised criminals involved in trafficking cocaine to Europe and the UK.’