Friday, August 31, 2007

Greenpeace Delinquents Arrested On Coal Ship

Three Greenpeace delinquents who boarded and chained themselves to a coal carrier in Lake Erie have been arrested. Greenpeace propagandist Shawn-Patrick Stensil said the Ontario Provincial Police made the arrests shortly after noon. The Algomarine was en route to Ontario's Nanticoke Generating Station -- which is located on the north shore of Lake Erie in Haldimand County, southeast of Simcoe -- and was carrying 30,000 tonnes of coal. The environmental terrorists, naively claims Nanticoke is Canada's largest source of climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions and the province's biggest source of smog-causing pollution. "Greenpeace's goal today is to raise dirty energy as an election issue," Mr. Stensil said in a prepared statement. Ontarians vote in a provincial election on Oct. 10. "We are challenging Ontario's political leaders to commit to clean, modern energy solutions that can be deployed today to shut down Nanticoke by 2012," he said. The McGuinty government promised in the last election to phase out coal power stations by 2007. That deadline, however, has been extended to 2014.
The Algomarine
A smelly Greenpeace spokeswoman said earlier that the idiots had chained themselves to the Algomarine's boom and anchor chain. The ship's owner was also told a nitwit was chained to the ship's rudder, while Stensil said it was near the stern. "We've been told there's two (nincompoops) up top and one attached to the rudder, which is exceptionally dangerous," said Allister Paterson, president and chief executive officer of Seaway Marine Transport -- the Algomarine's owner. "Right now our primary concern is the safety of everyone on the ship." The Algomarine was due to deliver it's shipment at about 9 a.m. But around 8:20 a.m., Greenpeace saboteurs, who departed from the ship the Arctic Sunrise aboard four inflatable boats, began painting the hull of the Algomarine. According to the Greenpeace press release, the villains then boarded the ship -- which soon afterwards dropped anchor. Officials with the Canadian Coast Guard and Ontario Provincial Police had established a security perimeter around the coal carrier and the Greenpeace vessel.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Expert Links Poor Maintenance To Ship Fires

Recent fires aboard Newfoundland and Labrador fishing vessels may be related to the high cost of maintenance, a marine engineer says. Dag Friis, who teaches naval architecture at Memorial University's Marine Institute in St. John's, said regular repairs and upgrades are likely being overlooked. "Maintenance is something you don't really earn money directly from," Friis told reporters. "When you're stretched basically beyond your means in order just to be able to get some cash in, maintenance may be one of those areas where corners are cut." Friis said fires often involve malfunctions with electrical systems or heat sources. "It's probably one of the scariest things you can be subjected to on the water," Friis said.The Canadian Coast Guard says it has responded to nine cases of ship fires this year, and three were in the last week alone. The responses are more than double the four cases reported during the same period in 2006. Friis said the problem is compounded because federal authorities do not have adequate resources to monitor the fishing industry appropriately. "Transport Canada has a pretty tough job with so many boats and very little personnel, really, for carrying out these jobs," he said. "It's hard to do, and in a lot of cases there's a limit to what they can manage to inspect and what they have the authority to do something about." On Monday, the vessel Viking Explorer burned to the waterline, near Englee on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula. Last Friday, crews responded to two separate vessel fires off the Burin Peninsula.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pakistan To Join Military Exercises Under CENTCOM

Pakistan will take part in multinational biennial military exercises to be conducted jointly by the American CENTCOM and Egyptian armed forces in November 2007 in the Mediterranean Sea, an official statement said. The Federal Cabinet allowed the Ministry of Defence to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between Pakistan and Egypt so as to enable the Pakistan Navy to participate in the military exercises, it said.Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz chaired the meeting. The Prime Minister also informed the Cabinet that the Presidential elections would be held between 15 September and 15 October. The Election Commission of Pakistan has already announced the appointment of returning officers for the Presidential Elections. It will announce the schedule for filing of nomination papers and the date for the Presidential Election.

Japan's New (NOT) Aircraft Carriers

Japan launched the first of its new helicopter-carrying destroyers, the Hyuga, amid great fanfare. This vessel, officially 13,500 tons, will be able to carry helicopters. Plans are for them to mostly carry SH-60 helicopters, but the Hyuga will give Japan its first real power projection capability since 1945. Japan plans to build at least two Hyuga-class vessels, which can carry up to 11 helicopters, displace 13,500 tons, and are equipped with a Mk41 VLS, giving them the ability for fire air-defense missiles like the Standard and the ESSM, and a vertically-launched ASROC, but also the Tomahawk cruise missile, if Japan wished to do so. It also has two triple 12.75-inch torpedo mounts. The name of the lead ship is probably the first clue that this ship is more than meets the eye. The HIJMS Hyuga was a battleship commissioned in 1918, and which served in World War II. After the battle of Midway in 1942, the Hyuga was converted into a hybrid battleship/aircraft carrier. The new Hyuga looks like a carrier, and her mission sounds like that of a carrier. This ship in the same weight range of the European "Harrier carriers" (the British Invincibles, the Italian Garibaldi, the Spanish Principe de Asturias, and the Thai Chakri Narubet-classes).
JDS Hyuga (DDH 181)
While this ship is currently planned to carry helicopters only, European experience (particularly from the British) has shown that this can be an effective platform for fixed-wing aircraft, like the F-35B. That makes the designation of "helicopter carrying destroyer" technically true, but in reality a useful fiction. In essence, they could act as small aircraft carriers or as a landing platform helicopter like HMS Ocean if transport helicopters are used. Such looseness with designations is nothing new for Japan. In its older incarnation as the Imperial Japanese Navy, there were numerous instances of these involving surface units. The most glaring were the heavy cruisers of the Mogami-class. Supposedly light cruisers displacing 8,500 tons (and fifteen 155-millieter guns), these were really heavy cruisers of over 13,000 tons (with ten eight-inch guns). The claims that those ships were compliant with naval arms limitation treaties were on the disingenuous side. Another instance involved the super-battleships Yamato and Musashi. The guns had been called "special 40-centimeter", leading many Allied intelligence officers to believe the vessels used sixteen-inch guns. As it is known now, the main battery consisted of nine eighteen-inch (40-centimeter) guns. In essence, Japan will have a ship about the size of the vessels that were the centerpiece of the British response to a crisis halfway around the world 25 years ago, with a flight deck and an offset island. They performed well, too – just ask Argentina. The Hyuga means that Japan is back in the power projection business.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ship Near Spanish Island Leaks Again

Poor weather led to new spills of oil from a stricken tanker which sank six weeks ago off the Spanish holiday island of Ibiza, authorities said. The local government interior ministry said a small slick had reached Playa d’en Bossa beach, popular with tourists, but that the beach remained open as its water quality had not been visibly affected.
Don Pedro
The island’s governing council said the latest leaks were “small” from the vessel which sank off the island on July 11. After initial fuel spills three beaches, including Playa d’en Bossa, were briefly closed. The 145m Don Pedro was carrying 100 tonnes of fuel oil and 50 tonnes of diesel when it struck a rocky outcrop and sank. Most of the fuel has been extracted from the vessel since it went down.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Cruise Ship Given All Clear After Terror Scare

Hundreds of cruise ship passengers breathed a sigh of relief when their ship set sail after a bomb scare. About noon, the bomb squad was called to investigate something suspicious aboard the Carnival Cruise ship Celebration docked at Jaxport. The discovery was made as passengers boarded the ship in preparation to sail to the Bahamas. Instead, they were told to wait in the parking lot for hours wondering what bomb-sniffing dogs smelled on the cruise ship on which they intended to sail. "It's been hot, miserable, long, tiresome," one passenger said. Frustration became more apparent with each passing hour. "Although I enjoy the parking lot, I want to be on the boat. I want to start my vacation," said another passenger.
Carnival Cruise Ship Celebration
Eventually, cheers were heard when the all clear was given and the bomb squad headed out. "Thankfully, everything came out OK. The JSO gave the all clear. They did not find anything that could cause this cruise ship to stay here any longer," said Nancy Rubin of the Jacksonville Port Authority. Shortly after the OK was given, buses started loading up the hundreds of passengers who were waiting to start their vacations. "We can go onboard now and have fun," said one excited passenger. Most of the people who waited gathered in the parking lot of a business just outside Jaxport. The restaurant did a lot of business, but the owner said he wasn't necessarily happy about it. "We had a birthday party planned tonight and some people couldn't get in. We've had to replenish everything inside before the party," said restaurant owner Kevin Blocker. He said he was as relieved as all the passengers to see nothing bad was on the boat and they could ship out. "If it's going to blow, I don't want to be on there when it blows," a passenger said. The Coast Guard later confirmed it was heart medicine that prompted the bomb scare.

MSDF Ship Returns Home After Indian Ocean Antiterrorism Operation

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ship returned to Sasebo in Nagasaki Prefecture after having ended its mission to refuel vessels undertaking U.S.-led Anti-Terrorism operations in the Indian Ocean amid controversy as to whether Japan should continue with the mission.
Hamana (AOE424)
Some 370 family members and MSDF personnel held a ceremony at a pier of the MSDF base in Sasebo Port to welcome the return of the 140 crew members of the 8,150-ton Hamana, which had been dispatched to the Indian Ocean for six months since March.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Six Fishermen Stranded In High Seas Rescued By Sri Lanka Navy

Six Sri Lankan fishermen, who went for fishing from Tangalle fisheries harbour last month, were rescued by the Sri Lanka Navy, when the fishermen’s trawler was broken in high seas off Batticaloa. Navy said that the multi-day trawler with fishermen on board left the Tangalle fisheries harbour on July 8. After few weeks in the sea the vessel developed difficulties in the sea off Batticaloa.
SLNS Shakthi
The Sri Lanka Navy Eastern Command launched a search and rescue operation to save the fishing craft and naval vessel SLNS Shakthi located the trawler on the 23rd around 640 kilometers East of Trincomalee. The disabled vessel was towed by the Navy but due to the prevailing rough seas and the weak hull resulting in the seepage of water, towing the craft any further was not feasible, it said. Later the six fishermen were handed over to the Navy Eastern Command.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Old Dynamite Halts Boat Traffic

Authorities closed the Champlain Canal after two buried boxes of old dynamite were found by contractors working on the General Electric Co. dredging project. Washington County officials say the dynamite is being disposed of and the canal between locks 7 and 8 in Fort Edward could reopen to boat traffic this evening or tomorrow.GE spokesman Mark Behan says contractors working on the dewatering plant for the Hudson River PCB dredging project found 50 to 60 sticks of dynamite about four feet below ground while building a wharf. He says police may have later found a third box.There were no fuses or blasting caps and evacuated residents were allowed back into their nearby homes. Fort Edward is 43 miles north of Albany.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Russia Seeks Navy Presence In Mediterranean

Russia's navy should have a permanent presence in the Mediterranean Sea, navy chief Admiral Vladimir Masorin said on Friday, RIA news agency reported. "The Mediterranean Sea is very important strategically for the Black Sea fleet," Masorin said during a visit to the base of Russia's Black Sea fleet in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol. "I propose that, with the involvement of the Northern and Baltic fleets, the Russian Navy should restore its permanent presence there," Masorin said, RIA reported.During the Cold war, the Soviet navy had a permanent presence on the Mediterranean Sea, leasing a base in Syria, military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer told Reporters. He said Russia may be seeking to use Syria as a base for its Mediterranean operations. That move may anger Israel. Russia under President Vladimir Putin has been boosting military spending and reviewed navy strategy.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thai Ship Hauled In For Illegal Fishing

Nine crew members of a Thai vessel were arrested on Tuesday for fishing illegally in Malaysian waters, the Royal Malaysian Navy said in a statement. The vessel was spotted by a naval ship, KD Todak, at 8.10pm on Aug 21 near an oil rig, said the statement issued by the naval base in Tanjung Gelang hear here.
KD Todak 3506 (Center)
The trawler was detected 85 nautical miles off Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, and was alleged to have been involved in illegally fishing in Malaysian waters. The statement also said that the Thai vessel was escorted by KD Todak to Pulau Kapas and handed over to the Kuala Terengganu fisheries department for the next course of action.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cargo Ship Likely To Break Up Off Gibraltar

A stricken freighter looks likely to break up off the coast of Gibraltar and efforts to rescue the vessel have been abandoned, authorities on the British colony said. The Panamanian ship New Flame is carrying scrap metal and is now half submerged after colliding with a petrol tanker on August 12.
The New Flame
Salvage teams plan to tow the freighter's stern section to safe water if it breaks up, Gibraltar's government said in a statement. The freighter has 750 tonnes of fuel aboard but the oil is not expected to spill if the vessel splits in two, the government said.

Air Warriors Train for Deployment

Eielson Airmen received some valuable training as they prepared for worldwide deployments. A class of about 50 participated in a recent three-day combat skills training course and were educated on topics ranging from convoy planning and unexploded ordnance recognition to self-aid and buddy care. CST provides deploying Airmen with the knowledge and situational awareness they need to survive and thrive, regardless of location or duration of tour. "Expeditionary combat skills training is designed to help Airmen who do not train for combat, (unlike) security forces and combat controllers, survive in hostile environments," said Master Sgt. Shawn Cox, 354th Security Forces Squadron. "The most important thing I learned during the course was convoy procedures," said Airman 1st Class Daniel Coomer, 354th Fighter Wing chaplain assistant. "You never know if you are going to need to take a convoy somewhere and these skills are crucial for survival." Airman Coomer wasn't alone in stressing the importance of the convoy operations portion of CST."My favorite part would have to be the convoy training," said Airman 1st Class Lance Egan, 354th Communications Squadron radio maintenance technician. "We were able to learn a lot and have a bigger hit of reality when it comes to what we'll be doing while deployed." To help students understand the importance of communication during a convoy attack, the instructors gave each Airman two 10-round clips of blanks for their M-16s, and after two dry runs of proper exiting procedures and placement outside stationary Humvees, put them through a real-world convoy attack scenario. "It teaches the Airmen tactics on how to survive ambushes and mortar attacks," said Sergeant Cox. "It also teaches them the capabilities and characteristics of their assigned weapon, the M16A2." Simulating a broken-down vehicle due to enemy fire, each group of Airmen was called on to demonstrate correct vehicle exit procedures and tactical placement using the vehicle as cover, all in the blink of an eye and with the CST cadre serving as opposing forces, or OPFOR. Students also learned proper procedures and techniques for challenging and searching suspicious individuals. "Search and seizure techniques were a good thing to learn more about so that we know the proper way to approach and, if necessary, take down suspects," Airman Egan said.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

US Coast Guard Investigates Cruise Ship Grounding

Personnel from Coast Guard Sector Anchorage have been in Whittier today, conducting an investigation into an incident in which the cruise ship Spirit of Columbia ran aground. Coast Guard Sector Anchorage responded to a call from the Spirit of Columbia – a 143 foot Cruise West vessel - after it had run aground on the east side of Evans Island, in Latouche Passage, near Whittier, at approximately 9:53 a.m. Sunday.
Spirit of Columbia
There were 51 passengers and 21 crew members on board with no reported injuries. No pollution was reported, and no hull breach occurred. The Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore from Cordova, and two HH-60 helicopters and a C-130 aircraft from Kodiak were deployed to assist.
Spirit of Columbia reported no damage had occurred and Coast Guard air assets were released from scene. The Coast Guard Cutter Sycamore then escorted the Spirit of Columbia back to Whittier. Weather conditions on scene at the time of the grounding were 2 - 4 foot seas and visibility at 4 - 6 miles.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Japanese Fishing Boat Returns After Release By Russia

A Japanese fishing boat seized by Russian coast guard authorities in June arrived at Hanasaki port in Nemuro, Hokkaido, with all of its 17 crew members aboard after being released Thursday.
Hoshin Maru
The Hoshin Maru No. 88 was seized by the Russian border patrol boat for inspections in waters east of the Kamchatka Peninsula on June 1 on allegations that it falsely reported its fish catch, while it was operating in Russia's exclusive economic zone with a permit from the country.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Honolulu Landmark Ship Closed Because Of Disrepair

The Falls of Clyde ship is a National Historic Landmark that sits in Honolulu Harbor and it has been off limits to visitors for more than six months because it is disrepair. The Falls of Clyde looks majestic from far away, but if you take a closer look at the only surviving fully-rigged, four-masted sailing ship in the world and you can see the hull is pock-marked with rust and corrosion. The ship first arrived in Honolulu in 1899 and was originally registered under the Hawaiian flag. The Falls of Clyde is named for a waterfall near Glasgow, Scotland. She was built in 1878. The historical ship now shows signs of age from the bow to the rudder, which is rusted through. The condition upsets Bruce McEwan, Chieftain of the Caledonian Society of Hawaii, which promotes Scottish culture. "There seems to be a lot of effort put in to making it look good on the outside, but letting it waste away, in the interior," McEwan said.
The Falls of Clyde
The Bishop Museum owns and operates the ship as part of the Hawaii Maritime Center. Blair Collis, the museum's vice president of public operations, said that the Falls of Clyde was closed to the public in January after it was deemed unsafe. During that time, the museum has sand blasted, cleaned and patched eight of the ship's 10 ballast tanks, he said. Collis said that the museum completed an historic ship assessment last month, to come up with a detailed repair list. It will cost anywhere from $10 million to $30 million to restore the ship he said. McEwan first visited the Falls of Clyde 30 years ago. "It was in pristine shape at that time. People could go anywhere aboard and so over those years, as it's been sitting in the harbor, it's been left to deteriorate," McEwan said. The ship lost two active volunteers and supporters in the last year and a half, with the deaths of Honolulu Advertiser columnist Bob Krauss, whose memorial service was held on board and well-known sea Capt. David Kawika Lyman. A museum spokesman said it is impossible to estimate when the piece of history will be able to reopen, but he said the museum plans to raise the money to restore the ship.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Surnames That Reveal Pirate Ancestry

With all that pillaging and looting, it could be one of the bloodiest reunions in history when descendants of six of Britain's famous pirates are invited to a get-together. People with the surnames Morgan, Rackham, Bonny, Read, Kidd or Teach, are being invited to discover possible connections with the likes of Blackbeard and Calico Jack, in a series of events by English Heritage. Dressing as a sea dog is optional. Proving your lineage with a real-life buccaneer, however, may prove difficult. Abigail Baker, of the genealogy research organisation Achievements Ltd, said: "What could be more exhilarating than finding you are related to one of Britain's most colourful characters?" However, said Miss Baker, due to their nefarious backgrounds, pirates rarely kept records of their activities. So proving a link can be tricky.
The six most famous British pirates are:

Sir Henry Morgan (a privateer, or legal pirate), born in 1635 in Glamorgan, Wales, who went on to rule Jamaica.

William Kidd, born around 1645 in Renfrewshire, Scotland, and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean.

Edward "Blackbeard" Teach was thought to be born in Bristol around 1680. He wove slow-burning fuses into his beard to create clouds of smoke around his scowling face. He is said to have had 14 wives and died in battle, his head being cut off and hung from the rigging.

John "Calico Jack" Rackham's was born in 1682, and so named for his penchant for brightly coloured clothing. He is remembered for employing two female pirates, Anne Bonny and Mary Read. Rackham was executed in Jamaica in 1720.

Anne Bonny
, born around 1698 near Cork, met Rackham in the Bahamas and started an affair with him, before eloping and joining his crew. She was said to be intelligent, attractive, and quick-tempered.

Mary Read, born in 1695 in London. She joined Calico Jack's crew and became one of history's most fearsome female pirates. She spent much of her life dressed as a man, and died in 1721.

The English Heritage events start this weekend at Dover Castle in Kent and continues next weekend at Whitby Abbey, North Yorks. Anyone who can prove they share the name of one of the six most feared pirates will get in free.

The Ghost Of U-Boat 33: German Sub Sunk In 1918 Threatening To Surface In Channel

It was one of the deadliest submarines in the German Navy's fleet during the First World War. The UB-33 stalked the seas - sinking at least 13 craft as it marauded across the English Channel and North Sea in search of Allied vessels. Finally, the hunter met its own end eight miles off Dover in 1918. But now, 89 years on, the ghost of the submarine is threatening to rise from the depths - to pose a new danger to cargo ships, tankers and ferries in the Channel, the world's busiest shipping lane. Lying in shallow waters, the wreck of the UB-33 has been disturbed by passing vessels, leading to fears that it could break free from the seabed and rise to the surface. So a salvage operation has been launched to prevent it hitting any of the hundreds of ships that cross the Channel each day. The saga began when UB (Unterseeboot) 33 was sunk with all 28 crew on April 11, 1918, after hitting a mine around the Varne Bank sandbank in the Dover Strait. It was armed with six torpedoes, two already loaded in its forward tubes. The area is directly beneath the shipping lane now used by ferries travelling to Calais and Boulogne and much of the movement of the wreck has been caused by the turbulence of vessels travelling above it.
A U-boat on patrol during the First World War
Currently, the UB-33 is lying 77ft down, but the official minimum clearance depth is 87ft. Trinity House - the institution which marks shipping lanes and maintains lighthouses - has temporarily stationed a vessel over the spot to warn ships. It was orginally thought the wreck could simply be blown up. However, that cannot be done because of the vessel's status as a registered war grave. Another option would be to mark its position with a large buoy. But the Varne Bank area is so busy that one shipping source said this would be like "putting a speed hump in the fast lane of the M4". A Trinity House spokesman said there are now alternative plans to gently move the UB-33 to deeper water. "It has been there a long time, but now the wreck has started to move and it is causing concern as it has once again become a danger to shipping," explained Vikki Gilson. "We have had divers surveying the wreck and one solution would be to re-set the wreck in a deeper position. It has been a hazardous job for the divers, but their survey is now complete. In the next few weeks, when conditions are right, we are hopeful we can move the boat."Trinity House says it is not officially confirming the identity of the U-boat out of respect for the families of the dead crew. "It is a sensitive situation because it is a war grave and we would not like to get anything wrong." The 324-ton UB-33, officially designated a coastal torpedo attack boat, sank three years after being launched. It was capable of doing 45 miles at 5 knots (5.8mph) submerged and involved in a total of 17 patrols. During that time, it destroyed 13 ships, damaged two others and took three as prizes. The submarine, commanded by First Lieutenant Fritz Gregor, slipped its moorings for the last time when it sailed out of the Belgian port of Zeebrugge - then in the hands of the Germans - on the night of April 10, 1918. It hit the mine the following day. It was one of more than 1,000 such boats which sank hundreds of thousands of tons of Allied shipping during the First World War. But 182 U-boats were sunk between 1914 and 1918 - and today the wrecks of some 133 lie around the coast of Britain. During the Second World War, a further 666 U-Boats were sunk and many of them are still legally protected as war graves.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Two Men Lost At Sea Found Clinging To Boat

Two men lost at sea off the NSW far north coast have been found by a rescue helicopter clinging to their upturned sailing boat. The men were located three nautical miles off Brunswick Heads after an sea and air search was launched. The men, one aged 26 and the other not known, left from Cudgen Creek near Kingscliff about 6.30pm (AEST) last night in a four-metre sailing boat. Their families raised the alarm about 9.30pm when the pair failed to return home when expected.Two police small planes, four helicopters and four boats took part in the search for the missing boat which was understood to have no life jackets or working navigational lights. The men were located by local rescue helicopter about 7.30am this morning and a volunteer vessel has been dispatched to rescue the men. The crew of the rescue helicopter assessed the situation and decided to winch the men to safety. They are being transported to Tweed Hospital for assessment but their current medical condition is unknown. Police are now deciding if the upturned boat can be recovered from the seas.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

$8m Australian Navy Flight Deck Useless

Choppers have been banned from using an $8 million helicopter flight deck fitted to the the navy's biggest ship. The 37,000-tonne fleet oiler and replenishment ship HMAS Sirius, a converted Korean-built tanker, can carry more than 20,000 tonnes of fuel including volatile aviation fuel. The ship has a crew of 60 but in an emergency a helicopter would only be able to land and take off if the vessel was fully laden and in calm seas, with little or no wind. In any other conditions, it would be too dangerous to land on the ship. The Sirius last year replaced HMAS Westralia as the navy's biggest replenishment ship. She was previously a Greek-owned double-skinned oil tanker named Delos. Bought for about $60 million, it underwent a $70 million refit by the ship builder Tenix. It included construction of a "helicopter landing facility" which was second on the list of five "important requirements" for the ship. "Desirable requirements", later dropped, included a helicopter hangar and maintenance facility. The navy also conducted trials to establish the feasibility of landing on the ship but detailed analysis has only just started.
HMAS Sirius and HMAS Toowoomba conducting a Replenishment at sea.
According to Kim Gillis, the head of systems with the Defence Material Organisation, airflow analysis by Murdoch University revealed problems with helicopter operations even before the refit. Mr Gillis said if the vessel was unloaded or there was any movement, helicopters would be restricted to lowering cargo to the flight deck. Such operations are too risky above the forward part of the ship where the fuel is stored. Mr Gillis said plans to have a helicopter attached to the ship were never seriously considered. The landing deck was engineered to carry all Australian military helicopters except the twin-rotor Chinook. Early graphic images of the Sirius on Defence websites featured a Sea King helicopter parked on the landing deck. Opposition defence spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon described the landing deck issue as an "incredible bungle". "Unfortunately, bungles such as this are typical of the Howard Government's record on Defence procurement, where lessons aren't learnt and the expensive mistakes just keep coming," he said.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

SERE Training Required For Airmen

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley met at the Pentagon with several Air Force leaders to discuss the road ahead for survival, evasion, resistance and escape training. Air Force leaders plan to broaden the focus of SERE training for all Airmen due to the threat of isolation and capture for Airmen supporting the war on terrorism. "As we've seen recently, the capture of military personnel has the potential of exploding into a larger strategic event with global impacts," General Moseley said. "Today's battlefields are non-linear and non-contiguous; their shape and venue change constantly. I worry we've not prepared our Airmen for the world we're operating in." In today's ever-changing world, Airmen increasingly find themselves in a non-traditional environment outside the wire. SERE training teaches Airmen principles, techniques and skills to survive in any environment, avoid capture, resist and escape if captured. SERE training is currently conducted on three levels. All Airmen receive entry-level, or A-level, training. B-level is provided to those with a moderate risk of capture and C-level is reserved for those with a high risk of capture. B- and C-level training is provided primarily to aircrew members, those traditionally in higher risk duties.Col. Bill Andrews, a guest speaker at the summit, was an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot flying his 35th mission in the final stages of Operation Desert Storm when he was shot down, captured and spent time as a POW. "An Airman captured faces grave moral and physical challenges," Colonel Andrews said. "My training gave me a gut understanding that I was still at war and not in a time-out. My SERE training at the Air Force Academy, 14 years earlier, was clear as a bell, giving me the confidence to not break in the face of the enemy." In addition to aircrews, advanced SERE training currently is provided to battlefield Airmen, those with the responsibility for combat control, pararescue, tactical air control and combat weather. "This is a great day. For the first time in history, we're talking about preparing all Airmen in the total force to deal with the increasing threat of isolation and capture," said Chief Master Sergeant John Myers, SERE career field manager. "With the issues we've addressed at this summit, we've taken a great step forward in facing this ultimate challenge that confronts our Airmen who fall into enemy hands," Colonel Andrews added. General Moseley's new initiative will be to incorporate SERE training throughout the Air Force. "We need to inject these skills across the entire force," General Moseley said. "Whether deployed for combat operations, stationed overseas or even in the continental United States, there are persistent threats to all Airmen. We must ensure every Airman is properly trained to deal with these threats. From the moment Airmen report for initial training until they separate or retire, we must train them to ensure they return with honor."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Turkish Ferry Rams Into Anchored Cargo Ship Near Istanbul

A Turkish ferry crashed into a Ukranian-flagged cargo ship anchored offshore slightly injuring 48 ferry passengers, officials said. The ferry Salih Reis-4, although damaged, returned to dock in Istanbul shortly after the accident. Ambulances and helicopters took the injured to hospitals, the Maritime Affairs office said in a statement. Tolga Uyar, a spokesman for the ferry company, said most of the injured hit their heads on seats or other objects when the boat hit the freighter Semyon Rudnev but no one suffered serious injuries.
Salih Reis-4
''We panicked a lot. I am still trembling,'' Cigdem Mutlu, who was traveling with her 6-year-old daughter, told the Dogan news agency. ''We first heard screams of other passengers, then everybody started shouting and we were all pushed forward. Everybody took out life jackets. Many people had head injuries and some were bleeding.'' The accident occurred near the entrance to the Bosporus, a narrow waterway that bisects Istanbul as part of the heavily trafficked sea link between the Black and the Mediterranean seas.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Real Life Love Boat

Police are hunting a couple who have set up a brothel — on a Speedboat. The pair drop anchor off a popular nudist beach before the man swims ashore to round up clients. The men all swim back to the boat, sometimes two or three at a time, to have sex with the woman. The punters then return to Studland beach, near posh Poole in Dorset. Cops are now stepping up daylight patrols and the police marine unit is on the lookout. Sgt Jon Bleasdale, of Swanage police, said: “This couple either make it known to people on the beach what they are there for, or we believe they advertise on the internet.
Loveboat ... a Bayliner with cabin area
“One witness described the vessel as being a Bayliner with a cabin area.” The beach is owned by the National Trust. Spokeswoman Emma Wright said: “This boat pops up quite often. “They are very discreet and you don’t really see anybody on board — but you know something is going on. “However, until we get hard evidence there isn’t a lot police can do.” Besides having a nudist beach, Studland has in recent years become popular with “doggers” — people who have sex in public.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Family Rides Ship Named For Hawaii Hero

The family of a Hawai'i boy and World War II Army war hero got a little more of their sea legs yesterday, sailing on the logistics support vessel named for him — the Staff Sgt. Robert T. Kuroda — after the 314-foot ship was recently placed into Army service. Kuroda, like the crew of the ship, LSV-7, was in a service that's usually more at home on the ground than at sea. But the Army's navy has three LSVs in Hawai'i — two in active duty service and now one in the Reserves — and on the Kuroda, the link from past to present remains strong. Kuroda's Medal of Honor now hangs prominently in a ship entryway, a reminder of his heroism on Oct. 20, 1944, when the 442nd Regimental Combat Team soldier led other men against enemy positions in Bruyeres, France, firing a machine gun and throwing grenades until he was killed by a sniper. Among the crew yesterday of the "roll on, roll off" ship were three combat veterans of the Reserve's 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry who served in Iraq in 2005. "It's a good thing that the Army honored (Kuroda's) name, being a Medal of Honor recipient," said Sgt. Josten Baisac, 25, from Waipi'o, who served in Iraq and is now an engineer on the Kuroda. "It makes us more proud that it's named after a Hawai'i guy."
USAV SSGT Robert T. Kuroda
Family members were invited on a three-hour trip yesterday outside Pearl Harbor. Among the nine who made it was former state Sen. Joe Kuroda, 80, one of seven brothers and two sisters in the family. "(Robert) was a humble man and someone who would think of this as quite an honor," Kuroda said. Eleanor Paek, 70, who lives in 'Aiea and is Robert Kuroda's niece, said it was an "extreme honor" having the ship named after her uncle, whose bravery was able to be recognized among so many unrecognized actions during World War II. "My uncle was fortunate that he was one the world could hear about," Paek said. Employers of the citizen soldiers who serve on board the Kuroda also were invited. Honolulu Fire Chief Kenneth Silva, who was on board, said of 1,200 employees, 80 are in the reserves. Robert Kuroda, a 1940 Farrington High School graduate, had gone through Honolulu Vocational School to be an electrician but was denied a job at Pearl Harbor because the Navy wasn't hiring people of Japanese ancestry after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack. He eventually enlisted in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, figuring that would prove his loyalty. "He said to his mother, 'When I return, I want to work at Pearl Harbor,' " Joe Kuroda said.
Visitors aboard the LSV-7 Kuroda
The LSV-7 arrived in Hawai'i a year ago after being christened in 2003, but Army officials yesterday said the vessel was lacking spare parts and training was hampered until recently. The Kuroda, one of eight LSVs in the Army, has a 10,500-square-foot deck that can carry 26 of the Army's Stryker armored vehicles. Staff Sgt. Rudy Rana, 43, from Mililani, an engineer on the Kuroda, said soldiers on the ship have to learn terms that most others don't. "We don't have floors, walls and ceiling," he said. "We have decks, bulkheads and overheads. You've got to be kind of multi-lingual to work on this vessel." The Kuroda's first mission from Bishop Point, its mooring at Hickam Air Force Base, was to the Big Island Tuesday to Thursday to take over ammunition for training. The ship returned with ammunition residue from big guns. Spc. Hyrum Yeepoong, 24, from Kane'ohe, is a cook with the 411th Engineer Battalion, but was brought on the Kuroda for the first training mission and likely will go on others. Most of the soldiers on the Kuroda are with the 548th Transportation Detachment. The trip to the Big Island, with 7- to 10-foot swells, was Yeepoong's first experience on a LSV. "It was a good learning experience," he said. "(But) the differential between sea and land — big difference." Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Owens, who commands the 548th detachment, said a 29-day sail to American Samoa is expected next March or April, and there has been discussion about sending the Kuroda out to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to clean up and collect drift nets and the remains of military infrastructure. Joe Kuroda said having the ship named for his brother is important, and when he drives his grandson past it on the way to the beach, he'll tell him, "Remember this name, remember your great uncle. Remember that he is representative of a generation of warriors who had to prove something, and they did."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Edmund Fitzgerald Life Ring Found?

A Michigan apple farmer and his family believe they've found a life ring from the Edmund Fitzgerald roughly 200 miles away from where the famed ship sank in Lake Superior 32 years ago. No tests have been conducted to prove it's a piece of the ore carrier that sunk in a vicious storm, killing 29 men. But the director of Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point says it matches in many ways another ring in its Fitzgerald collection.
Standing with the life ring they found are (from left) Joe Rasch, daughter Elizabeth, 10, daughter Emily, 14 and wife, Mary.
The orange preserver is worn by the elements and critters chewing on it. But it reads "Edmund Fitzgerald" in faded but mostly legible white letters. Joe Rasch says he was vacationing with his family last week in Michigan's far north, hunting for agates along a remote beach, when he spotted the life ring. Maritime historian Frederick Stonehouse says he finds it hard to believe that someone could find a Fitzgerald life ring on a beach 30 years later.

Glacier Smashes Into Arctic Cruise Ship

A chunk of an Arctic glacier broke into the sea and triggered a huge wave that injured 18 people on a sightseeing boat, almost all of them British tourists, Norwegian officials said. Four people were seriously hurt in the accident by Hornbreen glacier on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and were flown south to a hospital in Tromsoe on the mainland. The others were treated at a local hospital, mostly for minor injuries. "The glacier calved (split off) and a big wave washed over the boat," Elisabeth Bjoerge Loevold, acting governor of Svalbard, told Reuters. "The boat rocked back and forth and passengers fell on the deck."
The Russian cruise ship Alexej Maryshev.
"We believe there was no ice from the glacier directly on to the deck but we don't have all the details," she said. Some Norwegian media reports had earlier said the boat was showered with ice from the glacier. The small cruise vessel, the Alexey Maryshev, was carrying about 50 British tourists and a crew of 20 Russians. Loevold said 17 of those injured in the accident late on Wednesday were believed to be British and the other a Russian crew member, who was among those seriously hurt. Boats are meant to stay clear of glaciers around Svalbard, which is about 1,000 km (600 miles) from the North Pole, in case chunks fall off. But there are no fixed rules for how far is safe. "The captain and the expedition leader will be questioned about it by the police," Loevold said. Glaciers naturally break apart as they slide downhill but many are shrinking more quickly than usual because of global warming, blamed by almost all scientists on human emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

MDSU-2 In Twin Cities

Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 from Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek arrived in Minneapolis Minn. and spent their first full day working with local authorities canvassing the wreckage from the I-35 bridge collapse. “MDSU-2 is here to assist at the Department of Transportation’s request. They asked for assistance from the Department of Defense,” said Capt. Rich Hooper, director of ocean engineering supervisor of salvage and diving, Naval Sea Systems Command. MDSU-2 spent the morning setting up their gear around the dive site. The area of collapse they chose to explore is placed between two slabs of roadway cars still lining the concrete. By the afternoon divers took to the water to assess the extent of the wreckage. “The Navy has some specialized skills on this type of operation where we’re capable of entering into a confined space with high currents to recover the remains that the Hennepin County sheriff is using as part of their investigation of the incident,” Hooper said. “They need that specialized expertise [that] MDSU-2 has, to get into cramped, confined spaces that are heavily damaged and that are very high risk situations for divers. That specialized skill is not something you can commonly get out on the commercial market.”Currently, DoD has committed 17 divers and a five-person command and control element from MSDU-2. The personnel are assessing the situation to best determine where their assistance will be needed to support the county sheriff and Department of Transportation’s recovery effort. MDSU 2 divers have been to the site and into water in order to assess the situation and survey the landscape in the river. MDSU-2 is part of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC), a global force provider of adaptive force packages of expeditionary capabilities to joint warfighting commanders. NECC serves as a single manning functional command to centrally manage the current and future readiness, resources, manning, training and equipping of the Navy Expeditionary Force. Over the years, MDSU-2 earned the title of “Experts in Salvage” through participation in such unique operations as the recovery of TWA Flight 800 and Swiss Air Flight 111, refloating of YFU-83 in Puerto Rico, the salvage of the USS Monitor screw and recovery of Haitian Ferry victims. Recently, the heavy salvage capabilities of MDSU-2 were demonstrated during the salvage of Titan IV Spacecraft off the coast of Cape Canaveral. MDSU-2 will report to U.S. Army North for this operation, who in turn will be acting in support of primary federal and local authorities in Minneapolis.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Artist Mows Purple Heart In Field

An artist has mowed an 850,000-square-foot rendering of a Purple Heart medal into a park field to honor the 75th anniversary of the medal that commends servicemembers killed or wounded in action. The rendering, to be unveiled Sunday in Thomas Bull Memorial Park in this city 55 miles northwest of New York City, was done by field artist and painter Roger Baker, whose past works include the Statue of Liberty and Elvis Presley. According to Baker, the project followed a chance meeting with Bill Bacon, membership director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart. After meeting with officials from The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor and Orange County parks, the plan was on.
The New Windsor Cantonment, in what is now Orange County, was the final encampment of the Revolutionary Army. To honor the service of select troops, Gen. George Washington presented a small purple cloth Badge of Merit - the precursor to the Purple Heart medal. In 1932, the Purple Heart was awarded to 150 veterans of World War I. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor opened in New Windsor in 2006. Baker's design was based on a photograph of the medal awarded to Art Livesey, a Middletown, N.Y., Marine Corps veteran who was wounded at Iwo Jima.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ship Ploughed Into Boat

Two fishermen had to jump for their lives seconds before a 65,000-tonne container ship slammed into their boat in Port Phillip Bay, a court has heard. Brothers Robert and Luigi Corvetti had to dive from their runabout near Sandringham just before the 235-metre OCCL Sydney ploughed into it. The ship's pilot, Captain Peter McKeown, yesterday pleaded guilty to negligence over the October 2005 accident. Melbourne Magistrates' Court heard Capt McKeown, 59, was heading for Swanson Dock when he was confronted by hundreds of legally docked fishing boats, anchored in Port Phillip Bay for the peak snapper fishing season. As Capt McKeown tried to manoeuvre around the fishing boats, it struck the Corvettis' runabout, damaging its hull and wrecking the vessel. Prosecutor Peter Clarke told the court that Capt McKeown had failed to take evasive action or warn fishermen they were in danger."He decided to manoeuvre among the recreational vessels fishing at anchor near the transit-only zone," Mr Clarke said. "At no time did Capt McKeown exercise other options open to him, including signalling with the ship's whistle, navigating the Sydney east or west of the congregated fishing vessels, or bringing the Sydney to a halt while seeking the assistance of authorities." The court heard the brothers had to be rescued by nearby fishermen and were later forced to sell the fishing boat as a wreck. They have not fished in the bay since the incident. Capt McKeown's lawyer, Steven Grahame, said his client was Victoria's second-most-experienced ship pilot and had piloted thousands of ships in his 28-year career. "This incident was an aberration, a lapse, in Capt McKeown's career," Mr Grahame said. "(He) believed he had a passage through these recreational vessels. "He made a mistake." Capt McKeown, of Red Hill, yesterday pleaded guilty to one charge under the Marine Act of negligence, causing serious damage to a vessel or its cargo. Magistrate Charles Rozencwajg will sentence him today.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Jork Captain Was Drunk

A Polish Captain has been accused of crashing a cargo vessel into a gas platform while drunk. Zbigniew Karkowski, 56, was arrested after the Jork struck the unmanned Viking Echo platform 40 miles north east of Cromer, Norfolk just before 6pm on Saturday. Police tonight charged Karkowski, from Szczecin, Poland, with being drunk in charge of a sea vessel and said he was being held in custody. He is due to appear at Skegness Magistrates' Court. Six other Polish crew members, who were rescued from the sea, have been found accommodation in Norfolk, police said.
Viking Echo platform
The 2000-tonne vessel, which had been carrying grain from Lubeck in Germany, sunk in deep water. Mario Siano, watch manager at Yarmouth Coastguard, said the vessel became submerged after bursting its hull, caused by the wheat on board "swelling". The coastguard was called after reports the Jork was listing heavily. Coastguards said the Captain had remained on board to try to save the ship, which was destined for the River Humber, before being rescued. Two coastguard boats and a RAF rescue helicopter attended the incident. A spokesman for gas suppliers ConocoPhillips said only "very slight" damage had been caused to its platform.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Crew Held After Ship Hits Gas Rig

Police are questioning seven crew members from a cargo vessel which hit an unmanned gas platform in the North Sea 40 miles off the Norfolk coast. Six men jumped into the water after the "Jork" struck the Viking Echo platform, but the Captain tried to save the ship. A helicopter and a rescue vessel were sent to the ship, which was carrying grain from Lubeck in Germany.
The Jork
Six men from Poland and the German captain are being questioned about the incident by Lincolnshire Police. The crew members and the Captain were rescued from the sea by another boat, but the "Jork", which was listing heavily, is expected to sink. ConocoPhillips, which owns the gas platform, has shut down production while any damage is assessed. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out an investigation.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

NYC Man Cited For 1775 Submarine

A man in a Revolutionary War-era submarine was cited by the U.S. Coast Guard for drifting into a security zone, and for unsafe sailing in New York's East River near the Queen Mary 2 luxury liner, the Coast Guard and New York City Police Department said Friday. The man in the replica vessel was identified as 35-year-old Philip "Duke" Riley of Brooklyn, N.Y., according to Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer Seth Johnson. Authorities said it was the second time Riley had floated the vessel in the vicinity of the cruise ship. The submarine, which reportedly did not have a mechanical propulsion system, was being towed by two other men in a rowboat. "A makeshift submarine discovered at about 10:30 this morning by an NYPD Intelligence detective onboard the Queen Mary 2 in New York Harbor is the creative craft of three adventuresome individuals," NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced in an afternoon press release. "It does not pose any terrorist threat." While Kelly said the Queen Mary 2 will be inspected to ensure the boat's integrity, and Riley and the two other men could further face NYPD charges, he chalked up the incident as a case of "marine mischief."Riley was questioned by police after a guard on the Queen Mary 2 spotted the 8-by-4-foot fiberglass and wood submarine, a replica of a 1775 model called the "Turtle," within 200 feet of the ship. The U.S. Coast Guard also responded to the scene. Oxygen tanks were discovered inside the vessel, but no threatening devices or materials were found onboard. The "Turtle," invented in Connecticut by David Bushnell, was the first combat submarine designed to plant explosives on the sides of ships, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. A photo gallery posted July 17, 2007, on the photo-sharing Web site titled "Adventures With an Egg" shows a "Turtle" submarine making a test run in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn, near the spot where Riley was apprehended by authorities today. The photo slideshow also links to the Web site, the namesake of which is described as "the man behind the madness." On that site, Riley describes himself as an "artist" and "patriot," who combines "populist myths and reinvented historical obscurities with contemporary social dilemmas." The statement concludes, "Throughout my projects, I profile the space where water meets the land, traditionally marking the periphery of urban society, what lies beyond rigid moral constructs, a sense of danger and possibility."

Friday, August 03, 2007

Cruise Ship Bumps NYC Pier

A cruise ship bumped a pier at the Manhattan passenger terminal but caused little damage and no injuries were reported, the Fire Department said.The ship had a few thousand people aboard when it bumped the Hudson River pier shortly after 7 a.m. Carnival Cruise Lines released a statement saying its Carnival Victory was docking when it bumped the pier. The Miami-based company said the incident was being investigated and the ship was expected to continue in service.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ship Evacuated After Fire Reported

Visitors and staff were removed from the USS Lexington while fire crews fought a fire onboard the retired aircraft carrier. There were no injuries. The fire was believed to be below the hangar deck of the carrier, which is now permanently moored and serves as a museum. The fire was reported under control early that afternoon, city spokesman Ted Nelson said.The Essex-class carrier served with distinction in World War II and the wars in Korea and Vietnam before it was decommissioned in 1991. City fire department Capt. James Brown said the fire started about 11 a.m. in a small room that contained old maps and flags. It took about an hour to get the fire under control. By 1 p.m., firefighters were working to clear the smoke. Brown said museum managers were deciding whether to reopen the museum that afternoon.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Malta Registered Ship Runs Aground

A mechanical failure was being blamed after a cargo ship ran aground on the Tay at Perth. The 90-metre long Malta-registered Baltiyskiy-201 was entering the harbour at 5am when it veered off course and ran into a sandbank, leaving it stranded just metres from the port.The crew of the ship faced a frustrating wait for high tide when it could be refloated. Early indications were that the ship was not damaged and it did not shed any of its load of timber. There were no other ships due in or out of the harbour yesterday so the collision did not affect business in any other way.

Soldier Secures Berth in Olympics

U.S. Army World Class Athlete 1st Lt. Mickey Kelly secured a berth in the 2008 Olympic Games with a third-place finish in the women's modern pentathlon July 23rd at the XV Pan American Games Rio 2007. "I can't believe I just did that," 1st Lt. Kelly said of winning a Pan Am Games bronze medal and earning a trip to Beijing, China, as the second North American finisher at the Deodoro Sports Complex. "I'm still in shock. You dream of it and you try to put everything in position so you can have that," she said, "and when it comes true, you're just like: 'Whoa, did that really just happen?' I'm just ecstatic." Brazil's Yane Marques won the gold medal with 5,484 points. Canada's Monique Pinette struck silver with 5,288 points. First Lt. Kelly took the bronze with 5,252. "It was the mission and I am so thankful for everyone who has helped me along the way," said 1st Lt. Kelly, 29, a native of Chatham, N.Y., who is stationed at Fort Carson, Colo. "There are so many people who just put in a nice word of encouragement, and the Army, the coaches and my teammates."First Lt. Kelly was seventh among 14 competitors in the 10-meter air pistol event and earned 976 modern pentathlon points. She finished in a four-way tie for seventh in epee one-touch fencing for 784 points. Her 200-meter freestyle swim time of 2 minutes, 26.75 seconds was sixth-best for 1,160 points. First Lt. Kelly overcame early trouble aboard her horse, Tai Pan, to finish third in the equestrian show-jumping event for 1,140 points. On the first of two rail knockdowns, Tai Pan stumbled over the obstacle and 1st Lt. Kelly lost her footing in the stirrup. "I had to ride the next two jumps with no stirrup," she said. "But I had my goal in mind, and I was like 'OK, we're doing this come hell or high water.'" First Lt. Kelly got her foot back in the stirrup and scored 1,144 points with the third-best ride of the competition. U.S. teammate Sheila Taormina, a two-time Olympian in swimming and triathlon, drew a horse named Euacao Do Rin that refused eight jumps, costing Taormina 800 points for obstruction penalties and 300 more for failing to complete the course within the allotted time. She finished 11th overall."I felt bad," 1st Lt. Kelly said of Ms. Taormina's misfortune. "I've been there and I've done that. Of course, in the end, it was an advantage for me, but that is pentathlon, and that's the hardest thing to grasp about it. Sometimes it's unfair, but if you just deal with it and move on, the next time that comes up you deal with it better." First Lt. Kelly secured the bronze medal with the second-fastest 3,000-meter cross-country run time of 10:33.55 for 1,188 modern pentathlon points. First Lt. Kelly attributes her progression to grasping how modern pentathlon works and "just rolling with it." "You have to because it's not going to be your best day in all five events in one day," she explained. "When we pray for that, it's going to be at the Olympic Games, but until then we're just going to work up to it." Before departing for Brazil, 1st Lt. Kelly had dinner in Washington with her uncle, Sgt. 1st Class Jay Rippel, who shared stories about fighting the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. "It was really humbling," she said. "And I thought how it would be so wonderful just to be able to represent them (by making the U.S. Olympic Team) because I've trained for it and I've been trying to get there. And to just be able to say: 'Hey, it's for you guys,' because they are just amazing at what they do. I'm glad that I'm able to do my part in the same way."

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