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The Lone Coastguard!
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 21-06-2013 23:41    Post subject: The Lone Coastguard! Reply with quote

I've mentioned http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ on various other threads. I've found fascinating stories of happenings at sea, most notably a recent drugs bust on Scilly, during which a yacht skipper died in a fall from the mast.

So this thread is for unusual happenings I come across at sea via my computer. But I'll mainly be concentrating on SW waters, so if anyone else wants to be a Lone Coastguard, feel free to join in!

Tonight I'm watching a whole fleet of French yachts (at least two dozen) passing W to E off the Lizard. I assume it's a single-handed race of some kind from some of the boat names, but I know no more than that. Nothing on the local news.
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 13:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still intermittently tracking my German yacht. She's been heading up the Irish Sea, last known port Howth, on the coast near Dublin.

(I've been there once, in June 1989. We met a chap who was, or had been, someone big in the Irish Government, perhaps even the Taoiseach, but after 24 years I've forgotten his name!)

Otherwise, just the treasure hunting ship Odyssey Explorer to mention - she's at anchor in Mounts Bay. She's apparently been working 40 or 50 miles SW of Scilly.
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 15:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had to rush over to the east coast to see what's happening here:
Quote:
Ferry damaged hitting dock in Harwich

A lifeboat has been launched after a ferry carrying 400 people struck the dock in Harwich, Essex, as it berthed.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing the Sirena Seaways vessel listing to its port side in Parkeston Quay after the accident.
Eric Chalmers, who is at the scene, said the ferry was "only just" upright in the water.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said no-one was trapped and there had been no injuries but the vessel had been holed below the water line.

Mr Chalmers said: "I heard a horrible, really loud crumpling, thundery noise.
"I snapped my head around and there she is, ploughing straight into the docks bows-on"
He said the vessel had "got a hell of a list to port" but people could be seen on deck and appeared calm.

Station officer Terry Jewell, from Essex Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This is one of the regular ferries that comes into Harwich and as it docked it hit the side of the quay, making a hole under the water line.
"The ship is stable now and we are standing by as a precaution while the vessel is moved so that ramps can come down and passengers can leave.
"The ship's crew worked swiftly to put their safety plans into practice immediately the accident happened."

A spokeswoman for ferry owner DFDS said the ferry had just arrived at the port from Esbjerg in Denmark.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23014901

No sign of the LB on AIS - it must have been stood down now, as the accident happened about noon.
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 15:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may as well add this story to this thread

'Our wives and sweethearts' Naval toast rewritten

A traditional toast made at Royal Navy mess dinners on Saturday nights has been updated to reflect cultural changes, the Ministry of Defence says.
Naval officers will no longer raise their glasses to "Our wives and sweethearts" - typically met with the unofficial reply "May they never meet". Wink

Instead, they will say "Our families", following an instruction by the Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral David Steel.
The MoD said it reflected that women have been at sea for over two decades.
A second toast - made on Tuesday nights - has been changed from "Our men" to "Our sailors".

Woman first served at sea in 1990, but it was only last year when the first woman was made commander of a frontline Royal Navy warship.
By the end of this year it is expected that women will serve on submarines alongside men for the first time in the service's 110-year history.

The navy has traditional toasts for every night of the week.
However, it is understood such toasts are mainly made during large celebratory dinners or when a ship has anchored - not every day.

On Sunday, officers might toast "absent friends, Monday is "Our ships at sea", Thursday is "A bloody war or a sickly season" and on Friday, glasses are raised to "A willing foe and sea-room".
Wednesday's toast is "Ourselves (as no-one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare)"

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "To reflect cultural changes and our modern and inclusive Navy, two of the naval toasts used at mess dinners have been updated.
"The Royal Navy values the diversity and range of its personnel and it is only right that its traditional toasts should reflect the fact that women have been at sea for over 20 years."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23013395
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PostPosted: 22-06-2013 21:39    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been looking more closely at the coverage of the AIS stations used by marinetraffic.com

One, for Falmouth, showed the harbour and bay, and out as far as Scilly.

Another, for Falmouth Harbour, showed coverage of Antigua and Barbuda!

Which was really rather nice, as I'd been in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua just months before I moved to Falmouth, Cornwall, twenty-odd years ago!

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/default.aspx?oldmmsi=959

The Lone Coastguard gets everywhere!
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PostPosted: 24-06-2013 07:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

..I've even been up the Thames a few times:

Gravesend rowers rescued from Thames after boat snaps

Nine rowers had to be rescued when their boat was overwhelmed by a wave and snapped in half on the River Thames.
The crew from Gravesend Rowing Club spent 45 minutes in the water on Saturday afternoon before they were spotted by a tug boat off Gravesend.
Five were rescued by the tug Millgarth and the remaining four were pulled from the water by the Gravesend lifeboat.
One rower suffered mild hypothermia and had to be taken to hospital.

Alex Wood, captain of the rowers, recalled how conditions out on the river had changed really quickly.
"The waves got really high, so we turned it [the boat] around.
"We'd started rowing back and then what seemed like a gigantic wave hit us from the bow, filled the boat up, and then the boat snapped in two."

The crew were spotted clinging to the wreckage of what was left of their boat, waving their oars to attract passing ships.
Steve King, of Gravesend RNLI, said they were lucky to have been spotted.
"They were up to their shoulders in the water - it [the boat] was actually sinking underneath them.
"Had they been in the water any longer, we may have been dealing with a different scenario."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-23023722

I assume this was a normal rowing eight (eight oarsmen and a cox). They do have low freeboard, and so are liable to swamping in rough water - at least one has sunk this way in the Boat Race! But I never heard of one snapping before! Shocked

It's worth pointing out that the Thames is a tidal river, and we have big spring tides at present, thanks to the recent perigee full moon, and winds have been quite fresh. If the tide turns against the wind (or the channel turns to bring the tide against the wind), smooth water can rapidly become very choppy. I believe something of this nature happened, although I don't have the full details.

The only mystery is, surely people rowing on their local waters would be aware of these conditions?


P.S. Some happier rowing news:
Quote:
World Rowing Cup: GB's Helen Glover & Polly Swann win gold

Olympic champion Helen Glover and her Great Britain team-mate Polly Swann took gold in the women's pair at the World Rowing Cup at Eton Dorney.

Glover, back at the scene of her London 2012 victory, and Swann fought off a late challenge from New Zealand to win by a length, with Germany third.
"It's amazing being back here. Eton Dorney is the place to be for rowing right now," said Glover, 27.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rowing/23020254
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PostPosted: 24-06-2013 10:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meanwhile, back in the SW, the Scillonian has just arrived at the Scillies, and the Odyssey Explorer is working further SW of the archipelago.

Winds light NW, visibility very good - should be a quiet watch! Wink
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PostPosted: 24-06-2013 20:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

My German yacht has continued up the Irish sea (probably under engine, as the winds there are very light) and is now in Ardglass, NI.

(Somewhere I've not been!)
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PostPosted: 25-06-2013 08:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several French yachts are streaming northward past Lands End - seems to be part of a single-handed race. The wind is light, from the south.

Meanwhile the Scillonian is off the south coast of Cornwall on her regular run to Scilly.

Just one cargo ship anchored in Falmouth Bay, although she's been there several days now.
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PostPosted: 25-06-2013 16:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

A big 6.0 m tide predicted for Scilly at 1908 BST, so the Scillonian departed via the shallows on the northern side of the island.

The tides are dropping away now, down to neaps by next w/e.
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PostPosted: 25-06-2013 19:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have just noticed the Lizard LB underway. Is it on exercise, or on a shout..? Time will tell. (There's very little wind.)
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PostPosted: 25-06-2013 20:10    Post subject: Reply with quote

The LB spent a while pootling about at low speed in a bay just south of the LB station, to which it has now returned. So it wasn't a shout, but if not an exercise it was probably checking out some technical modification.

So now I can take off my Coastguard hat and concentrate on the cricket! Wink
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PostPosted: 26-06-2013 08:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've mentioned above the big tides created by the perigee Full Moon. Extra high high tides are one problem, but also the low tides are extra low, which is also a problem:
Quote:
St Mawes Passenger Ferry Cornwall

Disruption on St Mawes Passenger Ferry between St Mawes and Falmouth due to low tides. There will be no sailings between 14:30 and 15:30 this afternoon.

Last updated 52 minutes ago

This is because the ferries can't reach the steps - St Mawes dries right out on Springs.
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PostPosted: 26-06-2013 19:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another LB mystery today. Late p.m. I saw an RNLI LB approaching SW Cornwall from the SW.

1. Where was it coming from - there's nothing but Atlantic out there!

2. AIS gave the LB the number 17-11, but that's not one of our local boats.

Now the RNLI does have relief boats, for temporary replacements when a regular LB has to go for repairs or modification. But this was heading towards Mounts Bay from the open sea, rather than from along the coast, as a relief boat would.

After a visit to the pub, I looked for it again, but it seems to have vanished (or at least switched its AIS off). What's more, marinetraffic.com doesn't recognise the LB number! Shocked

Still, I did find my German yacht again, further up the Irish Sea. She put into Portpatrick in Scotland this afternoon.
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PostPosted: 26-06-2013 19:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystery solved: 17-11 is a local boat, the one from St Mary's, Isles of Scilly!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary%27s_Lifeboat_Station

I was thrown because I'd been watching the Scillonian return to Penzance, but this LB came in from a more southerly direction for some reason, and didn't follow the direct route from Scilly.
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