Archive for 01/12/2012

Hydro International – 

In the first ever expedition to explore and take samples from the ‘Dragon Vent’ in the south-west Indian Ocean, remotely operated submarines spotted yeti crabs, sea cucumbers and snails living around the boiling column of mineral-rich water that spews out of the seafloor.

These discoveries were made by scientists from the University of Southampton, UK. Marine biologist Dr Jon Copley said his team found animals that had not been seen in neighbouring parts of the oceans.

His team has found yeti crabs, normally living in the Pacific and for the first time observed in the Indian Ocean but different as they have short arms and the undersides are covered in bristles.

They also found sea cucumbers, vent shrimps and scaly-foot snails. Sea cucumbers have previously only been seen at deep-sea vents in the eastern Pacific.

Deep-sea vents, also known as hydrothermal vents, are springs of superheated water that are powered by underwater volcanoes.

They erupt from the sea bed and are usually found a few miles under the sea surface.

The scalding temperatures and rich mineral content of the water give rise to vast rocky chimneys, which have been found to support a wide variety of life forms.

The survey was part of a larger expedition to study underwater mountains aboard the RRS James Cook, which sailed from Cape Town on 7th November 2011 and returned to South Africa on 21 December 2011.

The exploration of the Dragon Vent took place in an intense three-day burst in the middle of the trip.

Full story…


Hydro International –

Expedition ship National Geographic Explorer will be, after an extensive test and evaluation programme, the first Adveto ECDIS-equipped vessel sailing on all waters around the world including the demanding waters of the Arctic and the Antarctic.

This order is a significant example from the ongoing international upgrading programme to make ships compliant with the IMO resolution stating that “all passenger ships in international traffic and over 500 tons should be fitted with a type-approved ECDIS by latest 2014”.

Distributor GPS Marinkonsult has contributed to securing the order. ECDIS-4000 from Adveto has features like multi routes, advanced predictors, alternative night presentation and download of PRIMAR charts and chart updates over the innternet directly into the ECDIS.

Full story…


gCaptain – 

With Christmas Island battling a spill of phosphate and fuel oil making national headlines some of the leading environmentalists are equally disturbed by illegal fishing in the Australia’s protected marine World Heritage Areas.

In a recent call to action the head of the Australian Greens party, Senator Bob Brown, is leading a twitter campaign against the Japanese whaling ship Yushin Maru III which he claims is now inside Australian territorial waters and the World Heritage area of the subantarctic Macquarie Island.

According to Senator Bob Brown, the activist group Sea Shepherd has informed him that it’s vessel Bob Barker has followed the Japanese harpoon ship into the area between Macquarie Island proper and its off offshore islets, an area which is 4 to 6 miles inside Australia’s territorial waters.

Macquarie Island, famous for its huge penguin and seal colonies, is part of Tasmania and was declared a World Heritage area 20 years ago.

Full story…


Mike Schuler –

The number of threats posing significant risks to maritime security these days seems to be never ending, always changing, and rapidly growing.

Pirates, rogue governments, terrorism; all seem to be organizing an accelerating – and rather freighting – rate.

So what can we do? Have the world navies place destroyers in every vital waterway, every ocean or body of water in the world? It would be nice, depending on who you talk to, but unrealistic.

The issue has led a number of private companies come up with their own solutions.

Some have been good, a lot have been bad, and many have been downright ridiculous. Now enter GHOST.

Developed by the privately held Juliet Marine Systems, a technology systems company based in Portsmouth, NH, the company believes they have the solution for many of the increasing threats to maritime security.

Described as an attack helicopter on water, GHOST is a high-speed attack craft specifically designed to protect vital waterways like the Straits of Hormuz and counter threats such as piracy.

With swarm attacks and close-to-shore operation in mind, the GHOST was designed with speed, maneuverability, endurance and the ability to carry a hefty payload.

JMS says that, deployed, GHOST would have the capability to conduct long duration patrols and missions, adding that two squadrons of GHOSTs operating from Bahrain or Djibouti could effectively provide protection to destroyers or cruisers operating within the region.

Full story…


Martin E. Comas –

Louise Hearst Entzminger probably figured her college class ring was gone for good after it fell to the bottom of a popular swimming hole near Longwood in the 1930s.

But now, almost 37 years after her death, Entzminger’s gold ring — with a Mississippi Woman’s College emblem on the outside and her maiden name inscribed on the inside — is in the hands of her 75-year-old grandson, thanks to the efforts of a determined scuba diver.

“It’s a pretty amazing set of circumstances,” said grandson John Entzminger of Oakton, Va. “I had absolutely no idea that my grandmother lost it.”

Just as amazed is Reed Banjanin, who discovered the ring last summer while diving in the spring where she apparently lost it. He later tracked down her grandson.

“I’ve been diving for almost 20 years,” Banjanin, 38, said, “and this is definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever found.” Banjanin lives in The Springs, which in the ’30s was known as Sanlando Springs, a popular spot for bathers in what was then a rural area. Today,

The Springs is a gated subdivision off busy State Road 434, and the swimming area is used only by residents and guests.

Last July, Banjanin was swimming about 25 feet below the surface in The Springs when his metal detector began chirping near an underwater cave.

The AT&T electronics technician with an easygoing manner frequently scouts local springs and caves in search of hidden treasures.

Full story…

gCaptain – 

A Korean fishing caught fire early Wednesday morning in the Ross Sea, approximately 2,000 nautical miles southeast of New Zealand, killing three crew members and injuring several others. The RCCNZ says that as many as 40 crew members were onboard when it caught fire.

The vessel, the 51 meter Jeong Woo 2, sent out a distress call in the early hours of Wednesday morning which was picked up by another Korean fishing vessel in the area and then relayed to officials from the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ).

A number of vessels responded to the call and two Korean fishing vessels, the Jeong Woo 3 and Hong Jin 707, were able to reach the Jeong Woo 2 and evacuate the crew from the burning vessel. The fire reportedly tore through the accomadation block of the Jeong Woo 2.

Three crew members were reported missing and presumed dead.

Two are understood to have extensive burn injuries and a another five crew have less serious burns, RCCNZ says.

The RCCNZ later confirmed that injured crew from the burning vessel were been transferred to the United States research vessel Nathaniel B Palmer, which has medical staff and facilities on board.

The vessel is now sailing to McMurdo Base about 600 kilometers southwest of the burning vessels position.

The trip is expected to take between 24 and 30 hours, depending on ice and weather conditions.

Full story…


Hayley Hannan –

Up to 300 containers from the stricken ship Rena have been washed overboard and most are likely to sink, authorities say.

At a press conference held in Tauranga a spokeswoman from environmental cleanup specialist Braemar Howells, Claudine Sharpe, said “200 to 300 containers” had been washed overboard after the ship was pounded by heavy swells up to six metres last night.

The ship’s stern is now listing at 23 degrees to starboard while the bow section remains firmly wedged on Astrolabe Reef, which it crashed into on October 5.

This morning Maritime New Zealand officials flew over the ship which was surrounded by murky waters as tonnes of milk powder from one of the containers spilled out.

Of the missing containers, Ms Sharpe said 30 had been identified and 15 of those tagged and corralled in an offshore area. “At this stage we have lost quite a lot of containers,” she said.

“We are looking at a round figure of around 200 to 300 containers. Of those, 20 per cent will float – the remainder will sink.”

Ms Sharpe said the top most containers had been tagged with transponders and she was confident these would be recovered. She said resources were in place if anything comes ashore.

“We will deal with it, but as I said our main priority is to stop it coming ashore if we can.”

Maritime New Zealand salvage unit manager Dave Billington said reports of containers being lost overboard started coming through last night about 8pm.

Full story…