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Posts Tagged ‘cruising’

shipwrecked-tanker

File this one under Safety & Security: Here’s something that might be of interest to those cruising the oceans. Whatever you’re sailing – sailboat, tall ship, motor yacht – you need to know where the underwater hazards are. Plus it would be good to know where the next oil spill may take place, right?

An international survey (Michel et al., 2005) has identified over 8,500 sunken shipwrecks in marine waters around the world, including more than 1,500 sunken tank vessels (≥ 150 gross tons) and nearly 7,000 sunken non-tank vessels (≥ 400 gross tons). These wrecks may contain as much as 20 million tons (140 million barrels) of oil and other hazardous materials. Sporadic or continuous leakages or potential sudden massive spillages from these wrecks, 75 percent of which stem from World War II, pose a continual risk across the globe.

The problem of potentially-polluting wrecks has long been discussed and recent incidents around the world have caused government agencies and responsible parties to look at preventing catastrophic oil and other chemical releases from long submerged shipwrecks.

The risk of oil and other hazardous materials seeping out of sunken shipwrecks is growing yearly, and the likelihood of leakage or even a massive spill occurring increases, as do the potential costs. Taking a proactive rather than a reactive approach to mitigating this risk will save not only dollars in response costs, but also reduce the threat of environmental and socioeconomic damages.

From the viewpoint of environmental and economic impacts, there is little difference between oil spilling from a sunken vessel and oil spilling from a modern day vessel casualty, with the exception that, while there is no way to predict the location or timing of the next major oil spill, potentially-polluting wreck sites are known and the probability of an spill event is quantifiable or even inevitable. There is ample evidence that there are a large number of wrecks in coastal waters that are spills waiting to happen.

antique-shipwreck-mapSponsored by the American Salvage Association (ASA) and the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA), this conference, “Wrecks of the World II: Evaluating and Addressing Potential Underwater Threats,” will aim to provide an opportunity for an objective review and discussion of the current state of potentially polluting wrecks and to offer considerations to address the problem. The conference will be held at MITAGS in the Washington, DC Area (Linthicum Heights, Maryland), USA from June 6-7, 2011.

From: The Maritime Exectutive

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dockwise-sailboats

Photo: Onne Vanderwal

Dockwise Yacht Transport (DYT) will be orchestrating the transport of 20 private cruising yachts from Salalah, Oman to Marmaris, Turkey in April.  The company, best known for its fleet of semi-submersible “float-on/float-off” yacht carriers, also coordinates lift-on/lift-off arrangements with third-party carriers, and logistically can fulfill almost any request, even if it is driven by unfortunate circumstances.

“Due to increased piracy, cruising sailors are altering their plans for getting from southeastern Asia to the Mediterranean,” said DYT President Clemens van der Werf.  “By virtue of their independent and adventurous nature, some of these sailors had not previously thought about shipping as an alternative, but they are thinking differently now.  Dockwise is committed to assisting them in all phases of learning about the process and then implementing a plan so they can ship to designated ports rather than travel through dangerous waters on their own.”

DYT President Clemens van der Werf. Photo: N.Birnbaum

Van der Werf explained that in mid-February four Americans, on board a sailboat hijacked by pirates off the coast of Oman, were killed by their captors, and more recently, Somali pirates took hostage seven Danes, including three children, after hijacking their yacht off the Somali coast.

“These attacks on private cruising yachts are deeply disturbing and are an assault on our collective yachting family,” said van der Werf, emphasizing that for more than two decades, Dockwise Yacht Transport has been working one-on-one with owners, captains and crews to ensure safe and efficient passages by way of shipping.  “We will do all we can to help sailors meet their needs, utilizing extensive shipping routes and schedules used by our own Dockwise vessels as well as our alliances with heavy-lift operators around the world.”

From BYM Industry News

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Commander David G. McClellan, Chief of the United States Coast Guard Prevention Operations Department, has released a statement in response to the incident involving the death of four hostages aboard the S/Y Quest on 18th February 2011.

The statement is directed to all mariners considering, or in contact with, parties planning to sail in the Gulf of Aden or Arabian Sea. It reads:

R 041954Z MAR 11
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-54//
TO ALCOAST
BT
UNCLAS //N16210//
ALCOAST 084/11
COMDTNOTE 16210
SUBJ: SPECIAL NOTICE TO MARINER (NTM) FOR US YACHTS AND SAILING VESSELS REGARDING PIRACY OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIA

1. ON 18 FEB 11, A U.S. REGISTERED SAILING VESSEL WITH 4 US CITIZENS ON BOARD WAS HIJACKED BY SOMALI PIRATES IN THE ARABIAN SEA, 282NM SE OF SUR, OMAN.  DURING NEGOTIATIONS FOR RELEASE OF THE VESSEL, THE 4 US CITIZENS ONBOARD WERE KILLED.

2. THE EXTREME HAZARDS OF OPERATING OFF THE COAST OF SOMALIA IN THE GULF OF ADEN AND THE ARABIAN SEA SOUTH TO THE MOZAMBIQUE CHANNEL AND EAST TO THE COAST OF INDIA, REQUIRES IMMEDIATE EDUCATION OF THE RISK TO ANY U.S. REGISTERED PLEASURE VESSEL OPERATING IN THESE WATERS OR U.S. CITIZENS PLANNING TO TRANSIT THESE AREAS ON FOREIGN FLAG REGISTERED PLEASURE VESSELS.

3. A SPECIAL NOTICE TO MARINERS WARNING VESSEL OPERATORS OF THIS RISK HAS BEEN RELEASED THROUGH THE NAVCENS WEBSITE
(HTTP://WWW.NAVCEN.USCG.GOV/) AND THROUGH DISTRICT LOCAL NOTICES TO MARINERS.  THE SPECIAL NOTICE HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO NATIONAL BOATING FEDERATION, NASBLA, US SAIL, BOAT US, US POWER SQUADRON, AND OTHER BOATING/YACHTING ENTHUSIAST GROUPS TO POST OR LINK THROUGH THEIR  WEB SITES OR PUBLISH IN THEIR NEWSLETTERS, TWITTER-FACEBOOK OR BLOG POSTS, OR MONTHLY MAGAZINES.
navyseal-zazzle-shirt

4. OCEANGOING SAILING VESSEL RALLIES AND U.S. PLEASURE VESSELS INVOLVED IN CIRCUMNAVIGATION VOYAGES MAY BE UNAWARE OF THE EXTREME RISK TO LIFE AND VESSELS OPERATING OFF THE EAST COAST OF AFRICA.  THE SUBJECT NTM WAS SPECIFICALLY RELEASED TO REINFORCE THESE IMPORTANT CONCERNS AND TO PROVIDE CONTACT INFORMATION TO DIRECTLY SUPPORT THE SAILOR IN THAT THEY MAY HAVE OR PLAN VOYAGES THROUGH THESE HIGH RISK WATERS.
THE WIDEST DESEMINATION (SIC) OF THIS NTM TO THE PUBLIC AND US REGISTERED OCEAN YACHT OPERATORS IS IMPERATIVE.

5. DISTRICT AND UNIT RECREATIONAL BOATING SPECIALISTS, AND UNIT AUXILIARISTS SHOULD ENSURE WIDEST DISSEMINATION/EDUCATION OF THIS NTM AND TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO MEET  WITH  YACHTING CENTER MANAGERS AND  POST/DISTRIBUTE THE SUBJECT DOCUMENT DIRECTLY TO YACHT OPERATORS/OWNERS WHO COULD BE PLANNING FUTURE CIRCUMNAVIGATION VOYAGES.

From www.synfo.com.

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After hearing of the taking of The Quest with Jean & Scott Adam and two crew, fellow cruisers and SSCA Commodores Nancy & Burger Zapf (Halekai, currently in Phuket) wrote to say:

“We first met Jean and Scott in Suwarrow (Cook Islands) in 2005 and met up with them again in Fiji and Vanuatu 2 years ago. Thought you’d be interested to read the attached…They had been sailing with the Blue Water Rally.

Scott and Jean Adam joined the Oz-Med section of the Blue Water Rally just before Christmas and had been sailing with the Rally from Phuket as far as Mumbai. Quest had taken on two well-known rally participants: Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle. However, she chose to take an independent route from Mumbai to Salalah, leaving the Rally on 15 February. All information is now being handled by the US Central Command and their spokesman in Dubai.”

sailor-bob-riggle

Bob Riggle from S/V Gaia

So now we have the identity of the two other crew members onboard The Quest.

According to an article in today’s LA Times, “U.S. Military officials said they are considering a response after reports that pirates off the coast of Somalia hijacked a yacht belonging to an Orange County, Calif., couple on a worldwide voyage distributing Bibles.

Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette, deputy commander of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, told CNN on Saturday that the U.S. is prepared to intervene to rescue the couple if they are indeed aboard the boat.”

French Commandos have previously rescued the crews of two French vessels that were hijacked, by military intervention. In the second of these, the rescue of the yacht Tanit in April 2009, the skipper Florent Lemacon was killed by friendly fire, while his widow Chloe and small son Colin were rescued.

sailor-phyllis-mackay

Phyllis MacKay of S/V Gaia

No military attempts to rescue yacht crews by this method have been made since. Later in 2009 British cruising sailors Rachel and Paul Chandler were captured and held in captivity for over a year before a ransom was paid and they were released. The British Navy watched the hijacking at sea, but held fire for fear of hitting the Chandlers.

Piracy has flourished off Somalia’s coast for two decades. Cruisers are having to make serious decisions about whether or not to voyage into pirate-infested waters.

Zapf wrote, “The Thailand to Turkey convoy (TTT) of 30 yachts was just disbanded in the Maldives last week due to piracy fears. Some of those yachts have left for Oman, others are returning to Thailand/Malaysia. Still others are shipping with Sevenstar to Marmaris in March.”
Our prayers go out to the Adams’ and their families during this horrendous time. Let’s pray that the U.S. Military will defend it’s citizens abroad better than the U.K. did for the Chandlers.

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sv_quest

S/V Quest. Photo courtesy of svquest.com

Jean and Scott Adam, cruising on the sailing vessel Quest, a Davidson 58 Pilot House Sloop, are an American couple from Southern California who have been sailing the globe for the past six years.  Their cruising website states that The Quest started an “around-the-world” trip in mid December of 2004 after sailing her to the States from New Zealand in 2002. They were on a “Bible Mission,” bring bibles to out-of-the-way places around the globe.

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Cruisers Scott & Jean Adam. Photo from svquest.com

According to an article today on the New York Times Online, the couple’s yacht was “attacked on Friday several hundred miles off the coast of Oman, the American military said. There has been no radio contact with the Americans since they put out an S O S, officials said. It is a strikingly similar case to that of Paul and Rachel Chandler, sailors from a London suburb seeking adventure in similar waters in 2009. Their boat was hijacked by Somali gunmen, who held them for more than a year.”

UpDate: Saturday night…Both ABC and NBC included this story on their national nightly news broadcasts tonight, making this the most covered cruiser abduction yet. Let’s pray that all that coverage will lead to their safe return.

Also, according to Lifetime SSCA Commodore, Ginny Filiatrault, the Adams’ are SSCA members and Commodores.

We’ll stay tuned to bring you the latest as it becomes available.

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In a post on his Cruiser-Network-Online Yahoo Group, Moderator Glenn Tuttle (M/V Tothill) reports that Javier Martin, the top suspect in two recent murders of cruisers in Panama, was arrested in a small town named Santa Fe which is along the Inter-American highway in the Darien section of Panama.  He was most likely headed to Colombia.  Reports state that Martin had been staying in a hostel there, registered under the alias of “A. North”, assuming the identity of Don North, whose middle name is Arthur.  When arrested, he was in possession of a shotgun and two handguns, a large sum of cash (over $13,000), and Don’s credit card.

 

donnorth_panama-guide

Missing Cruiser Don North

According to recent posts by Don Winner on his Panama-Guide.com site, the first known victim of this supposed mass murdered, Jean-Pierre Bouahard’s body has now been found.

 

“Jean-Pierre’s Body Floats To The Surface: The first word I received of this situation came on Saturday, 5 February 2011, when I was in Playa Blanca to cover a meeting between property owners in the area and the Minister of Tourism Salomon Shamah. During the meeting I received a phone call and email from a friend in the area of Portobelo who told me the body of a Frenchman named Jean Pierre Bouahard had been discovered in the ocean by a group of scuba divers. I mentioned the discovery of Bouahard’s body in my interview with Minister Shamah, precisely because he was a tour operator and he used his sailboat to take backpackers from Panama to Colombia, and I thought the Minister might be aware because of the tourism connection. It turns out that he had no clue about the discovery, and he called this people in Portobelo and chewed them out on the phone in front of me. Then we moved on to other things in the interview.”

The search of the Bouahard’s catamaran, Levante revealed traces of blood inside the boat along with documents including Don North’s passport. The authorities now plan to conduct a crime scene search of Don’s sailing vessel, Windancer.  Says Tuttle, “As of now, Don’s body has yet to be located, and it’s undoubtedly in the San Blas, the island paradise he loved.  And what about his little Schipperke dog, Kuna?  Did the low life scumbag Javier kill the poor dog as well?  Maybe he gave the dog to one of the Kuna Indians, so all cruisers need to ask about the dog.  She is all black and about 20 pounds.  Also, Don had a turtle as a pet which lived aboard his boat.  Perhaps the turtle is still on board, so please somebody ask about the turtle.

don-norths-windancer_panama-guide

S/V Windancer has been located, but North is still missing

All those who helped in this investigation should be commended.  Those who didn’t help, or worse yet, put out false rumors and misinformation, shame on them.  I can only hope the Panamanian authorities get to the bottom of this horrible matter, and all those harboring knowledge of the crimes get prosecuted.  And if anyone out in the San Blas receives any type of threat, or hint of reprisal for their cooperation in this investigation, please contact me or the Panamanian authorities immediately.  The San Blas needs to be rid of any scoundrel who would interfere with the investigation or intimidate other cruisers.”

 

Read my previous post for more info.
All facts and photos here are courtesy of Don Winner and the Panama Guide.

 

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SCC_brochure_cvrIt’s the real thing!  Tall ship cruise operator Star Clippers operates three of the world’s most authentic, head-turning ships; the majestic four-masted, 170-passenger Star Flyer and Star Clipper and the magnificent flagship, five-masted, 228-passenger Royal Clipper.

The Star Flyer began its’ maiden season in Central America last November, in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, where it will sail six, seven, 10 and 11-night cruises out of Puerto Caldera to explore the bays and inlets of the Pacific coastline, with visits to lush rainforests and hidden lagoons.

Star Clipper Cruises has exciting itineraries in Central America and the Caribbean, where the Clipper ships will visit dream locations in the Grenadines and British Virgin Islands among others. The company’s ever popular ocean crossings are ideally suited to those who dream of long sea voyages, while the summer season will find the ships roaming the Mediterranean (French or Italian Riviera), the Greek Islands and a fascinating new route between Athens and Istanbul, including Turkey as a new destination.

Turkey should be an awesome destination to see from the decks of a Star Clipper Ship. In an article released today in eTurboNews.com, Turkey is expecting 31 million tourists in 2011!

The article states, “In the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED) annual tourism report, Mr Ahmet Barut, the President of TUROFED said “The total tourism revenue is expected to reach USD 25 billion in 2011 with 31 million visitors”.

Turkey is on the way to becoming one of the top tourist destinations and is currently ranking as 7th in visitors numbers in the world. The tourism sector in Turkey has grown nearly 16% in the last 3 years whereas the more traditional destinations of Spain and France have contracted by a similar amount.”

Starting in May, 2011, The Star Clipper Cruise Line will begin sailing Turkey, seven nights Southern Turkey or with the Greek Isles and Northern Turkey. I can’t wait!

To find out more, visit www.starclippers.com.

 

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The Captain offers a lesson on a sextant. Photo by N.Birnbaum

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Star Flyer anchored off Curu Preserve, Costa Rica. Photo by N.Birnbaum

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