Archive for 08/24/2011

Hydro International –

NOAA and the Port of Newport have dedicated a new NOAA ship operations facility in Newport, OR, USA, during a ceremony attended by federal, state and local officials and the public. The NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific serves as a home port for four NOAA research and survey ships and provides administrative, engineering, maintenance and logistical support for NOAA’s Pacific fleet.

“This facility is a vital part of the nation’s research infrastructure, and will allow NOAA to continue providing the highest level of science, service and stewardship to the American people,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere.

“We thank the Port of Newport for their hard work to get the facility ready and the community for the warm welcome.”

The facility, which NOAA leases from the Port of Newport, includes 40,852 square feet of office and warehouse space, a 1,300-foot-long pier, and a small boat dock.

The main buildings are built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards for environmentally sustainable construction.NOAA signed a 20-year lease with the Port of Newport in August 2009 following a competitive lease award process.

The NOAA Marine Operations Center-Pacific supports nine ships, including vessels home ported in Hawaii and Alaska. The center and ships are part of the Silver Spring, MD-based NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, which includes civilians and NOAA< Corps officers. The NOAA Corps is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Full story…

AFP –

Le dauphin Joséphine, héroïne du film “Le grand bleu” du réalisateur Luc Besson, est décédé “des suites d’une maladie rénale associée à son âge très avancé”, a annoncé mardi le parc Marineland d’Antibes.

“Joséphine était mère et grand-mère de plusieurs enfants et petits enfants”, a précisé à l’AFP Jon Kershaw, directeur zoologique du parc.

Elle avait été capturée aux Etats-Unis en 1979 pour le parc marin d’Antibes et devait avoir une quarantaine d’années, un âge très avancé pour son espèce, a-t-il ajouté.

Les prélèvements de dauphins en mer pour les parcs marins sont prescrits depuis 1985 et Joséphine a contribué à peupler les bassins d’Antibes.

“C’est une page qui se tourne, elle a toujours été dans le parc”, note tristement Jon Kershaw, qui a débuté à Antibes en 1980 en tant que soigneur de dauphins. “J’ai eu son premier bébé dans mes bras en 1990 qui depuis est devenu papa”.

Joséphine reconnaissait tout le personnel du parc. “Les dauphins sont très attachés aux êtres humains en général et reconnaissent les individus. Ils participent volontiers et relèvent les défis. Il n’y pas de dressage, avec eux on parle plus d’apprentissage”, explique le responsable du parc. Car “le dauphin garde son indépendance, c’est limite frustrant”.

Joséphine s’est rendue célèbre en tournant “les scènes les plus techniquement difficiles” du film “Le grand bleu” sorti en 1988. C’est elle qui vient chercher l’acteur Jean-Marc Barr dans les profondeurs de la mer dans la scène finale. Toutes les scènes filmées au fond de l’eau avec des acteurs ont également été tournées avec Joséphine.

Trois dauphins d’Antibes ont participé au film, tandis que des scènes avec des dauphins sauvages ont été tournées en mer aux Bahamas, précise Jon Kershaw.

Balkan Business News –

Taking advantage of 2005 legislation allowing recreational diving throughout Greece, with the exception of designated archaeological areas, local government administrations throughout Greece have launched a campaign to attract “diving tourists”.

Some 250,000 divers from abroad, with their families, are expected to visit Greece through the end of October 2011; the number from June to date has already reached 115,000 divers, according to Society for the Protection and Promotion of the Submarine Environment and its Surroundings president George Tzanakis.

Some 70 percent of the divers who have already visited Greece this year are from Germany, Russia, Spain, France and Italy, and the other 30 percent are from the U.S.

According to Mr. Tzanakis, Greece was selected as the favored diving destination by 95 percent of a total of 7,500 divers who responded to questionnaires in the period 2006-2007.

Greece earned this “title” for three main reasons cited by the respondents to the survey: “theme,” given that there are more than 20,000 shipwrecks in the Greek seabed, of which 6,000 have been formally recognised; “price,” as diving in Greece costs about one-third of that in other diving destinations such as Malta, Italy, Croatia, Turkey and Cyprus; and “family,” since the families of the divers are quite happy to accompany them to Greece, which offers a plethora of other activities for an enjoyable holiday.

Kraig Becker –

PADI, the Professional Association of Dive Instructors, is closing in on a very impressive milestone, and to celebrate they’re giving away a very impressive trip. The organization that has trained more scuba divers than any other, is now approaching their 20 millionth certification, and the lucky person who earns that distinction will win a trip for two to dive Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

 Last week, PADI launched its “Countdown to 20 Million” campaign, installing a counter on its website to indicate how close they are to the magic number.

As of this writing, they are still more than 46,000 certifications away from the winner, but considering there are over 6000 PADI dive centers and resorts world wide, it seems likely that that number will drop quickly. It should also be pointed out that the contest is open to any certification, so whether you’re a beginner who is just getting started, or a long time veteran looking to pick-up some new skills, you’ll be eligible to take home the prize.

 And what a prize it is ! The person who earns that 20 millionth certification will receive round-trip airfare to Cairns, Australia, four nights stay in a resort located in Queensland and an additional three nights stay aboard a dive boat. Also included will be all equipment rental, including dive computer, a one hour low level reef flight for checking out the area from the air, and the opportunity to dive up to 11 times.

If that wasn’t enough, the winner and their guest will also visit the Daintree Rainforest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), visit an Aboriginal village, and a “Cuddle a Koala” experience.

 If you’ve ever wanted to get dive certified, or already have your certification but want to brush up on your skills, now is the time. Find a PADI site near you and go earn that cert. Who knows, you might even win a great trip to the Great Barrier Reef in the process.

Full story…

Hydro International –

CSA International Inc, an environmental survey company working in the Gulf of Mexico, has become the first organisation in the world to purchase a new, ‘calibration-free’ acoustic positioning system launched by Sonardyne International Ltd.

The GyroUSBL (image) integrates Sonardyne’s Lodestar Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) and sixth generation (6G) Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) transceiver into a single unit and was shown to offer operational benefits during a deep water ROV survey carried out this summer.

Most USBL positioning systems need to undergo a calibration process to determine the precise alignment offsets between the acoustic transceiver and the vessel’s own attitude sensors.

This is often a time-consuming exercise involving the vessel undertaking specific manoeuvres over several hours whilst all the necessary data is collected and then processed. 

With Lodestar GyroUSBL, any sensor offsets have largely been removed by the tight mechanical coupling of the survey-grade AHRS unit and the USBL array during its assembly and calibration at Sonardyne’s factory.

This integration also enables the attitude sensor data latencies associated with conventional USBL set-ups, to be virtually eliminated, further improving precision and accuracy. Lodestar GyroUSBL can therefore be deployed on any vessel and put to work very quickly without users first having to perform a calibration.

Full story…

Reflector –

A tourist at Kure Beach was taken to a nearby hospital after being bitten on the foot by a shark as she waded in the ocean.

Kure Beach Ocean Rescue Capt. Daniel Russell says the attack happened Wednesday evening as the woman and her boyfriend were wading in shallow water.

Russell declined to identify the woman because of medical privacy laws, but said she wasn’t from the area.

Russell says she had significant lacerations to her foot and toes, and was taken by paramedics to a local hospital. He didn’t have any information on her condition since the attack.

The woman’s boyfriend told rescuers the shark was about six feet long.

This is at least the third reported shark attack on North Carolina beaches this summer.