Sunday, November 30, 2008
A merchant ship ‘Gurukripa’, bound for Kochi from the Old Port (fisheries harbour) here, ran aground in the shallow waters here on Saturday. According to the Port officer Captain Mohan Kudri, the ship got stuck in the soft soil at around 12 noon while it was heading out to the open sea carrying a consignment of sand.
Forced halt: A merchant ship ‘Gurukripa’ that ran aground near the fishing harbour at the Old Port in Mangalore on Saturday.The 80-metre-long vessel blocked a large portion of the route used by ferries that shuttle between the mainland and the Taneerbhavi Sandspit, causing smaller boats to take detours. Captain Kudri said that the ship would be aided in its attempts to sail out into sea by local, privately owned trawlers. But for that to happen, the water levels must rise sufficiently. Locals complain of deposits of silt. Captain Kudri informed The Hindu that port authorities and a private infrastructure firm from Mumbai will take up the dredging work.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Indian Navy Investigating Ship Found With Corpse On Board
Friday, November 28, 2008
Proud Warriors Lend a Hand to Ocean Tug
The guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) and the embarked Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42 "Proud Warriors" provided logistical assistance to the Military Sealift Command fleet ocean tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168). Vella Gulf responded to Catawba to conduct a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) after high seas prevented Catawba from conducting a scheduled replenishment at sea (RAS) with the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Laramie (T-ATO 203). Pallets containing mail and repair parts intended for Catawba were transferred to Vella Gulf during a RAS on Nov. 11. Those pallets were then flown to Catawba on Nov. 12 using HSL 42's SH-60B Sea Hawk helicopters. HSL 42 then flew seven more pallets of food and repair parts from Laramie to Catawba Nov. 13. "Laramie arrived two days ago to provide underway replenishment but was unable to pass any stores to Catawba," said Vella Gulf's Commanding Officer Capt. Mark Genung. "After realizing the sea state was not going to change, we conducted a VERTREP from Laramie to Catawba, which the ship is capable of doing despite the relatively heavy seas." "The first day, Catawba received mail and some repair parts," continued Genung. "[The following day], the ship received food and other stores. Since Catawba will be with us through the end of the month, it was important the ship received the materials it needed."
USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168)Vertical replenishments are not a typical mission for HSL 42. "We practice VERTREPs, however it's not something we do a lot," said Lt. Cmdr. Matt Bradshaw, an officer assigned to HSL 42. "The reason is, our aircraft are a lot heavier than the SH-60S you normally see doing VERTREP due to the tactical stuff we carry. Our aircraft are a much lighter version of the SH-60B. With something small like this replenishment, it's pretty easy." Vella Gulf Sailors were happy to help another ship and grateful for the experience gained. "It was a pretty good experience," said Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Jason Farris. "It's not a ship that we would normally VERTREP to, and being as small as it is, it's not a ship that you would see out to sea for a long period of time. A lot of the guys aboard, when we were flying over there, looked really happy to see that they were getting some groceries. So, it was nice." Vella Gulf is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to conduct Maritime Security Operations (MSO). MSO help develop security in the maritime environment. From security arises stability that results in global economic prosperity. MSO complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
1 Dies, 3 Missing As Cargo Ship Sinks In Batanes
A cargo vessel sank last Tuesday 10 nautical miles northwest of Calayan Island, Batanes, leaving one dead and three crewmen missing, while 16 others were rescued by passing vessels, the Philippine Coast Guard said yesterday. Capt. Athelo Ibañez, PCG North Luzon district commander, said the Mark Jayson 1, a 51.42 gross-ton Landing Craft Transport vessel, was on its way to Basco from Manila carrying aggregates and construction equipment when it suffered engine trouble amid strong winds and high seas near the Batanes group of islands. The shipping vessel had 14 crewmen and six equipment operators. In a report to PCG commandant Vice Admiral Wilfredo D. Tamayo, Ibañez said the identities of the dead and the missing were still unknown. But he identified those rescued as Nestor Sumokol Jr., Nestor Sumokol Sr., Melvin Evangelista, Mark Regonan, Ryan Mejares, Dante Resona, Alejandro Senagugote, Mark John Palcis, Rexy Cabaola, Ryan Herminio, Jackie Gan, Larry Sasidon, Galeleo Jaug , BJ Geronimo, Reynald Dapiton. One of the rescued was still unidentified."We are presently conducting search and rescue operations for the missing crew of the vessel," Ibañez said. Tamayo ordered two PCG rescue vessels and one aircraft to search for the three missing crew. He also sought the cooperation and coordination of local government officials in Batanes to help in the search and rescue operations. According to PCG reports, the Mark Jason-1, owned by Jomalia Shipping Corp., flashed a "distress call’ at around 1:15 a.m. last Tuesday. This was confirmed by a certain Jesus Dukut of the MV Kamo, who called up Coast Guard Northern Luzon District. Five passing vessels helped in the rescue of the survivors. The MV Ultrace rescued four; the MV Umlaghan, rescued seven; the MV Lutos Gas, three; and the MV Asia Bridge and the MV Siam Victory rescued one each. Tamayo said he will form a special board of marine inquiry (SBMI) to probe the cause of the sinking. He designated Ibañez as chairman of the probe.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Flying Submarine Or Submerging Seaplane?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Turkey Ship Harassed Oil Vessels, Says Cyprus
Cyprus has complained to the United Nations, saying a Turkish warship harassed two oil and gas exploration vessels earlier this month, documents showed yesterday. The move is likely to cast a shadow over talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus, an island divided along ethnic lines after Turkey invaded in 1974 and occupied the north. “The two ships were forced, by the Turkish warship, to cease their operations and withdraw within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, under fear for the lives of their crews and the integrity of the ships,” Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon released yesterday. The foreign-flagged exploration ships were carrying out surveys on November 13 on behalf of the Greek Cypriot government when the incident occurred, Cyprus said in its formal protest. Last year, Cypriot moves to tap potential deepwater reserves in the Mediterranean angered Turkey, with Ankara declaring that oil and gas exploration could upset negotiating efforts. The reunification talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots commenced in September and are expected to continue into 2009.“The gravity of the incident cannot be overstated, taking into account the crucial time in relation to the efforts for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem,” said Christofias in the November 14 letter. “I can only convey the dismay of my government over what transpired,” he said. Cypriot authorities had not disclosed the incident before. Greek Cypriots have defined eleven offshore blocks south and south east of the island for hydrocarbon exploration, with large areas still uncharted. A senior Cypriot energy official said on November 21 that authorities were close to awarding an exploration contract to a US based firm for one of the blocks, and that negotiations were ongoing with two more companies for a further two blocks. The island planned to hold a second licensing round, a process where companies express an interest in exploration, in June next year, he said. Christofias said the vessels were 27 miles off the south coast of the island when the incident occurred. They were within, he said, Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ). The Turkish warship said they were in the Turkish zone. Such a zone defines a maritime boundary, normally 200 nautical miles from the shore, within which a country maintains exploitation rights.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Cruise Ship Rescues Four From Yacht
A cruise ship docked 24 hours late in Australia Sunday after taking a detour to rescue four people from a sunken yacht. The Pacific Sun, a P&O vessel, received a distress signal from the Sambaluka, which had struck a reef in the Coral Sea, the Brisbane Times reported. The ship was on the way back to Brisbane after a 7-day cruise to New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands and Vanuatu. Capt. Justin Lawes said this was his third rescue but his first while in command. One of his main concerns was how accurately his charts described the area."There's always an element of risk and danger involved in any rescue operation," he said. "We were using charts last surveyed in 1974, but some waters around Australia haven't been surveyed since Captain Cook's time." Mark Iaconetti of New Zealand , captain of the Sambaluka, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. the reef he hit did not appear on the charts he was using. He and the others on the yacht, another New Zealander and a French couple, were able to survive because a French rescue plane dropped a life raft.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
World’s Biggest Cruise Liner Launches
The world’s biggest cruise ship was launched yesterday when its milestone float-out ceremony took place. The 220,000-tonne leviathan, called Oasis of the Seas, is being built by American company Royal Caribbean at the STX Europe shipyard in Turku, Finland. The 1,187ft vessel, that can carry 6,296 passengers, is so big that its exhaust stack retracts so it can pass under bridges as it travels the world. Representatives from the owners and the shipyard turned a wheel to let the water into the dry dock where the 65% finished vessel is still being built. The £700 million (€827m) vessel is 40% bigger than any other cruise ship afloat and it has a Central Park-style open-air space aboard the size of a football field with its own micro-climate.The world-first attraction means that guests can have the option of a sea or tree view. Completing the attractions is a 750-seat AquaTheater concept, modelled on an ancient Greek amphitheatre, located at the stern of the ship which allows guests the chance of lounging around the biggest pool afloat in the day and then going back at night for shows including acrobatics, synchronised swimming, water ballet, and professional high-diving. Other amenities include loft-style apartments and an ice rink. The ship will be completed next year.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Indian Warship Praised For Sinking Pirate Ship
An anti-piracy watchdog group on Thursday welcomed an Indian warship’s destruction of a suspected pirate vessel in waters off Somalia, where hijackings have become increasingly violent and the hijackers increasingly bold. In a rare victory in the sea war against Somali pirates, the Indian navy’s INS Tabar sank a suspected pirate “mother ship” in the Gulf of Aden and chased two attack boats on Tuesday. Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur said he was heartened by the Tabar’s success. “It’s about time that such a forceful action is taken. It’s an action that everybody is waiting for,” Choong said. “If all warships do this, it will be a strong deterrent. But if it’s just a rare case, then it won’t work” to control the unprecedented level of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, he said. The pirates have stunned the maritime community with their brazen attacks, highlighted by last week’s hijacking of a Saudi-owned supertanker loaded with $100 million worth of crude oil.
INS Tabar (F44)A spokesman for Vela International Marine Ltd., the tanker’s owner, said the company “took the decision to maintain no comment” on issues concerning the tanker, including the ransom demanded for release of the vessel and the 25-member crew. Spokesman Mihir Sapru said he could neither “deny nor confirm” that negotiations between the pirates and the oil tanker’s owners are under way. The Indian navy said the Tabar, operating off the coast of Oman, stopped the ship because it appeared similar to a pirate vessel mentioned in numerous piracy bulletins. It said the pirates fired at the Tabar after the officers asked it to stop so they could search it. Indian forces fired back, sparking fires and a series of onboard blasts — possibly caused by exploding ammunition — which destroyed the ship. Since the beginning of the year, 95 ships have been attacked in the Gulf of Aden. Of those, 39 were successfully hijacked. Eight were hijacked in the last two weeks. Besides India, other countries including the U.S. and NATO have warships patrolling the area. But attacks have continued off Somalia, which is caught up in an Islamic insurgency and has had no functioning government since 1991.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Fishing Boat Capsizes off Gampo
A 79-ton fishing boat capsized 72 km off the east of Gampo, South Gyeongsang Province at around 2:42 a.m. on Wednesday. Three crew members, including 49-year-old Hwang Yong-jin, have been rescued and hospitalized for hypothermic shock and injuries. Seven others, including 46-year-old captain Kim Chung-gil, are missing. “I was sleeping with five other colleagues in a cabin, but awoke when I felt the boat suddenly tilting. I then saw water leaking in,” said Hwang. “We were locked in the cabin but managed to swim out of there at dawn, thanks to the lifesaving equipment. Before I went to bed, I had seen our captain and some other crew members on the deck and in the steering room.”The total of 10 crew members included captain Kim, eight Korean sailors, and one Indonesian national. The boat departed Port Tongyeong, South Gyeongsang Province, to go crab fishing at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. They reported a shipwreck at 3:25 a.m. before losing contact. The Pohang Coast Guard said, “We are looking for the missing people with one helicopter and over 10 patrol boats, but because of strong winds of 12-14 m/sec and a high tide, it is currently difficult accessing the wrecked boat.” An official at the Pohang Coast Guard said, “As the crew members were sleeping, we are guessing the capsizing wasn’t due to an engine defect, but because of the strong winds and high tide.”
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Mandate Keeps NATO From Hijacked Tanker
NATO has no plans to intercept the Saudi supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates since its warships in the area have no mandate to board captured merchant vessels by force, a spokesman said Tuesday. NATO officials have said the hijacking of the 318,000-ton UAE-owned MV Sirius Star on Saturday took place in a part of the Indian Ocean far removed from the area where an alliance flotilla has been operating since last month. The four-ship contingent was dispatched to the region under a U.N. mandate to escort vessels chartered by the WFP to Somali ports, and to conduct patrols designed to deter pirates from attacking merchant ships transiting through the Gulf of Aden. Two warships - the Greek frigate HS Themistokles and the Italian destroyer ITS Durand - are escorting cargo ships chartered by the World Food Program to carry food aid from Mombasa to Mogadishu. A Turkish frigate, the TOG Gokova, and the British frigate HMS Cumberland are conducting deterrence patrols in the Gulf of Aden, where they engaged in a firefight last week with pirates attempting to hijack a Danish ship. The area where the Sirius Star was attacked, located about 520 miles (833 kilometers) southeast of Kenya - closer to Tanzania than Yemen - is far outside the range in which Somali pirates are normally considered a threat.
"This attack took place a thousand miles away from where one would normally expect this type of attack to take place," Alliance spokesman James Appathurai told reporters. "The NATO ships could have intervened to prevent the seizure had they been there ... but what they don't have the mandate to do is to board ships that have already been hijacked to free the crew." "NATO's mandate is not related to interception of hijacked ships outside the patrol area," Appathurai said. "I'm not aware that there's any intention by NATO to try and intercept this ship." Attacks on the 20,000 commercial vessels sailing around the Horn of Africa are up 70 percent this year. The pirates are reported to use some of the $100 million they received in ransom payments to acquire better and faster boats, global positioning systems and satellite phones that help them in locating the merchant ships. A number of shipping companies are said to be considering rerouting their vessels from transiting through the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, and instead sending them around the Cape of Good Hope. Experts say this is a much longer journey that would add 12-15 days to the trip at a cost of btw $20,000-$30,000 a day to the cost of the journey. The attack on the Sirius Star is not the first time that pirates have targeted an oil tanker. In April, they used rocket propelled grenades in a failed effort to board the Takayama, a Japanese tanker.
Purple Heart Recipient Back Into The Fight After Injury
Threat Reported On Bremerton Ferry
The Washington State Patrol says a threat has forced a state ferry to turn around and return to Bremerton. Trooper Krista Hedstrom said it happened about 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, about five minutes after the ferry left Bremerton.Hedstrom said an anonymous 911 caller said he overheard two men saying there was going to be a terrorist attack on the ferry. The caller disconnected and dispatchers were not able to get the man's name or number. Coast Guard officials said the ferry turned around and was immediately off-loaded. State ferry spokeswoman Susan Harris said the Bremerton terminal is closed while the ferry Hyak is there. She said another ferry leaving Seattle for Bremerton has been redirected to Bainbridge Island.The incident is being handled by the Department of Homeland Security, and the Coast Guard sent three small patrol boats to the Bremerton terminal. Video from AIR 4 showed police searching with dogs the passenger terminal and area around the docked ferry, and a bomb squad was called to the scene.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Australian Navy To Shut Down Over Christmas
Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon says a two-month Navy shutdown over Christmas has been ordered to give staff a rest as the Navy continues to grapple with staff shortages. The shutdown will involve all ships not on operational duties and some staff will be allowed to work from home. Mr Fitzgibbon says the Government is working to address staff shortages in the Navy. "We're doing a lot of work trying to find new and innovative ways both to retain skilled people and recruit new people and this is an interim initiative designed to just give some rest and respite to people in Navy where we have our biggest challenge," he told a reporter."These people have been facing an extended period of operational tempo and it's just a way of saying thank you and encouraging them to stay in the service rather than leave." He has also not ruled out further Christmas shutdowns in the future. "There's no reason why we can't have a longer stand down period each Christmas and we're looking at all sorts of ways of encouraging people to stay," he said. Mr Fitzgibbon says a review is under way into family work balance in the Navy. "By the first part of next year we should be in a position to place some new initiatives to help us better retain those people and indeed recoup more people to the services more generally," he said.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Students Were 75 Feet From Shore When Boat Sank In The Fox River
Investigators said that the Chicago students who drowned in the Fox River were 25 yards from shore when their boat sank. Students from North Lawndale College Prep were on the last day of an eight-day leadership retreat at Camp Algonquin when some students sneaked out of a dorm and pushed six paddle boats into the river. One, with two teens onboard, quickly sank as it took on water. A boy on the shore swam in the river to try a rescue, but he soon went under as well.
Rescue workers pulling a paddle boat out of the Fox River.The students who died were Melvin Choice III, 17; Jimmy Avant, 18; and Adrian Jones, 16. Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Stacey Solano said Saturday that authorities will interview the trip's chaperons and 16 students who left the dorm. She said officials must still confirm that the boats sank because plugs had been pulled from their bottoms in preparation for winter.
High Court Rules for Navy in Sonar Case
The Supreme Court lifted restrictions on the Navy's use of sonar in training exercises off the California coast, a defeat for environmental groups who say the sonar can harm whales. The court, in its first decision of the term, voted to allow the Navy to conduct realistic training exercises to respond to potential threats by enemy submarines. Environmental groups had persuaded lower federal courts in California to impose restrictions on sonar use in submarine-hunting exercises to protect whales and other marine mammals. Environmentalists link sonar to beached whales, internal bleeding around marine mammals' brains and ears, and other damage. The Bush administration argued that there is little evidence of harm to marine life in more than 40 years of exercises off the California coast. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Six justices agreed with the outcome, although Justice John Paul Stevens did not join the majority opinion. Justice Stephen Breyer would have allowed some restrictions to remain, while Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter said the prospect of harm to the whales was sufficient to justify limits on sonar use.The court did not deal with the merits of the claims put forward by the environmental groups. It said, rather, that federal courts abused their discretion by ordering the Navy to limit sonar use in some cases and to turn it off altogether in others. The overall public interest tips "strongly in favor of the Navy," Roberts wrote. He said the most serious possible injury would be harm to an unknown number of the marine mammals. "In contrast, forcing the Navy to deploy an inadequately trained anti-submarine force jeopardizes the safety of the fleet," the chief justice wrote. In dissent, Ginsburg said that the Navy's own assessment predicted substantial and irreparable harm to marine mammals from the service's exercises. Ginsburg said that "this likely harm ... cannot be lightly dismissed, even in the face of an alleged risk to the effectiveness of the Navy's 14 training exercises." Roberts pointed out that the federal appeals court decision restricting the Navy's sonar training acknowledged that the record contained no evidence marine mammals had been harmed. The exercises have continued since the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled in February that the Navy must limit sonar use when ships get close to marine mammals. A species of whales called beaked whales is particularly susceptible to harm from sonar, which can cause them to strand themselves onshore.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Greece & Turkey Standoff Over Survey Ship Ends
A standoff between a Greek and a Turkish navy ship in the Aegean over a Turkish-sponsored oil prospecting survey ended yesterday after the operation was called off, Greek officials said. A Norwegian survey ship commissioned by the Turkish government to conduct the search was departing after Greek officials complained to Norwegian and Turkish authorities, the Greek foreign ministry said. “Under the international convention on the law of the sea, a large part of this area includes a continental shelf (seabed) belonging to Greece,” foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said. The Norwegian ship, the Malene Ostervold, on Friday began prospecting for oil in the southeastern Aegean near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, escorted by the Turkish frigate Gediz, Koumoutsakos said. A standoff ensued when a Greek gunboat was dispatched in the area to impress “that this sort of research requires permission from Greek authorities,” the Greek general staff said.
The Malene OstervoldThe Malene Ostervold departed shortly after midnight after the Norwegian ambassador had been summoned by the Greek foreign ministry, but returned early on Saturday morning, the general staff said. The incident ended after Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis called her Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Store, Koumoutsakos said. Oil prospecting and quake research in the Aegean, a highly seismic sea believed to hold oil reserves, has been a habitual cause of tension between Greece and Turkey for the past two decades and nearly led to war in 1987. Greece has many islands a short distance from the Turkish coast. On the basis of post-World War II treaties, it claims waters which Turkey insists are neutral. Turkey also questions Greek claims to airspace around these islands. Greek warplanes are routinely sent to intercept Turkish fighter aircraft whenever they enter these zones, leading to the occasional mock dogfight. But relations between the neighbours have markedly improved in recent years. Greece is supporting Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, a number of confidence-building measures have been enacted, and high-level military delegation visits - once unthinkable - are now exchanged on a regular basis.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Pirate-Seized Tuna Boat Has Japanese
A Chinese tuna boat with a Japanese crew member has been hijacked off Kenya, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.The Japanese crew member, who has not been identified, was among 24 people on board the Tanyo 8 when it was seized Thursday night, Xinhua reported, quoting an unnamed official at the Chinese Transport Ministry.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Korean Ship Forced To Return To Harbour
The Mumbai harbour witnessed high drama as a South Korean ship was forced to return as it attempted to leave the shores defying a Bombay High Court notice on consignment unloading, sources said on Thursday. The captain of the South Korean vessel MV Han Splendor tried to speed away on Wednesday night after court officers served the legal notice, but a Coast Guard vessel intercepted the ship and brought it back to the harbour, they said. The notice has been served after an Indian steel firm moved the court not to allow the ship to leave the harbour until its consignment was unloaded at the contracted price. “The court issued an order stating that the ship cannot leave the harbour without the permission of the Coast Guard and the high court,” a senior police official said. On Wednesday three officials, two from the police and a bailiff, boarded the Korean vessel anchored near Alibag from a Coast Guard vessel to serve the document. However, the captain of the vessel decided to weigh anchor and leave the city’s harbour and the private firm arranged for a fishing boat to allow the Indian trio to disembark, they said. As the Han Splendor attempted to leave, the Coast Guard vessel deployed there established radio contact with the Korean vessel and forced it to return to its original position, sources said. After high drama in mid sea for over a couple of hours the ship was brought back to the harbour, they said.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
India-Bound Turkish Ship Hijacked
A Turkish ship heading for India has been hijacked off the coast of Yemen, state-run Anatolian news agency said today. The Karagol, with 14 Turkish crew on board, was transporting chemicals to Mumbai when it was hijacked by unidentified attackers. Last month pirates in Somalia hijacked a Turkish ship off the lawless Horn of Africa country.
The KaragolIndian Navy today foiled an attempt by heavily-armed pirates to capture two merchant vessels, including an Indian flag carrier, off the notorious Somalia coast. Yesterday, the Indian warship INS Tabar foiled pirate attacks on an Indian cargo vessel MV Jag Arnav and a Saudi carrier MV NCC Thihama within 25 nautical miles of each other. A statement from the Turkish Maritime Affairs Directorate said the Karagol was hijacked 26km off the coast of Yemen.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Saluting In Civilian Clothes
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Six Rescued As Boat Sinks In Foveaux Strait
Six people were saved by a passing ferry when their boat began to sink in the Foveaux Strait near Stewart Island today. The six were believed to have been out fishing or diving when their boat began to sink, Invercargill Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes said.They sent out a mayday call at 12.10pm and were rescued by a nearby ferry which makes regular crossings between Bluff and Stewart Island. Police were talking to the six about the cause of the incident. It was not known why the boat sank.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Fears Around Rusting Ship
The seized fishing vessel Taruman was left drifting in the River Derwent after it lost power while leaving port. Witnesses said the rusting hulk, carrying 270,000 litres of heavy fuel oil, came close to running aground on the rocks off Bellerive Bluff on Saturday, potentially causing an environmental disaster. But TasPorts said the vessel was never in serious danger. The FV Taruman has been rusting on Hobart's Macquarie Wharf since June 2005, when it was seized by armed customs officials for illegally fishing for patagonian toothfish in the Southern Ocean. The tender to scrap the ageing vessel was only recently awarded, but the operation to move the vessel to the scrap yards in India did not go to plan on Saturday. While manoeuvring the vessel away from port late on Saturday afternoon, the ship's engines failed to fire and it began drifting helplessly across the river towards the Eastern Shore, pushed on by strong winds.
FV TarumanAn accompanying vessel Kap Favel, which was also headed for the scrap, had to turn around at Taroona and limp back to the scene to tow the much larger ship to safety. The Taruman was undergoing emergency repairs off Blinking Billy Point yesterday. Witness Roger King, who put in a rival bid to scrap the vessel, said a disaster was averted only by a change in the wind direction. "They had a pilot on board who probably saved the day at the end of it all -- there were no tugs to tow it to safety," Captain King said. "It came very close to Bellerive Bluff." He said due diligence maintenance works to the ship's engines did not appear to have been done before it left port. TasPorts spokesman Charles Scarafiotti played down the incident. "I don't think there was any risk or danger there -- when they realised they didn't have power the other vessel took over," Mr Scarafiotti said. In 2006 Spanish fishermen from the Taruman were fined $118,000 for illegal fishing.