Archive for 01/28/2012

RT –

They still can’t sleep at night since the Costa Concordia put them through the ordeal of their lives.

A Russian couple that made it ashore safe and sound believe every passenger could still be alive had the rescue operation been better organized.

They are just two of the passengers from over 4,000 people onboard the massive cruise ship Costa Concordia. Denis Golovkin and Olga Gridneva still have trouble sleeping at night.

“I don’t understand how they couldn’t have rescued everyone considering the liner sank no further than half a kilometer from land, in warm weather,” says Olga.

Sixteen bodies have so far been recovered and 16 people are still missing after the 290-meter long cruise liner struck a rock near the Tuscan island of Giglio.

Olga and Denis got onboard only two and a half hours prior to the disaster at the port of Civitavecchia.

For them it was just the beginning of their cruise, as the liner was picking up passengers along the way.

The couple had just had dinner – incidentally, to the tune of the Titanic theme song – and were back in their cabin when the ship hit the reef.

“Our glasses, laptops and cellphones flew off the table,” Olga recalls.

“The boat went too close to the shoreline where it wasn’t supposed to be. And we certainly felt it, like a really strong crash or shaking…”

They grabbed their life vests and Denis suggested taking warm clothes, considering the temperature outside was 12 degrees Celsius.

“I thought that we might actually have to jump overboard,” Olga says, “nobody was supervising us, we spent an hour and a half on the deck, and the speakers were saying, “Don’t worry, everything is fine…”

It was very scary. It was a large ship, the height of a multi-storey building.

When a sensible individual starts thinking that they might have to jump overboard they assess their abilities and realize that they don’t feel like jumping from this height at all.”

Full story…


Maritime Journal – 

The French company Omega Sails has introduced a kite system for boat propulsion that is claimed to give considerable savings in fuel.

The kites are a unique round conical shape that is held open with an inflatable tube.

The designers claim that the kites are easy to deploy and stow and in their present form they are available in sizes for boats up to 20m in length. In their stowed form the kites fit into a container mounted on the foredeck.

For the larger sizes the kite line is operated by a small electric or hydraulic winch that allows the height of the kite to be controlled remotely from the wheelhouse.

On deployment, the small diameter tube the gives the kite its shape is inflated and then the kite is launched with the boat heading downwind.

Once launched, the kite can operate effectively over an arc of 60° either side of the downwind line, thus allowing the kite to be effective over a considerable range of wind directions.

The Omega Sails kite has been tested on a number of different vessels including on one Atlantic voyage from the Canaries to Guadeloupe when the kite was the only means of propulsion used.

On this voyage, the 10m power catamaran averaged close to 5 knots.

Omega Sails is claiming that the kite can maintain a speed of 5 to 6 knots when the wind is blowing at between 15 to 30 knots.

A more demanding application has been found on 20m fishing boats operating from the Brittany coastline.

Here the fishermen have found that they could use a kite of an effective size of 200 square metres for about 40% of the time and this has led to fuel saving of between 15% and 25%.

With the sail costing in the region of €20,000, this means that it could be possible for the cost of the kite to be recovered in just over one year with this sort of intensive use.

Full story…


Mike Schuler – 

A bridge in western Kentucky has partially collapsed after being struck by a cargo ship Thursday night.

According to officials, two spans of the U.S. 68/KY 80 bridge over Kentucky Lake collapsed across the bow of the M/V Delta Mariner after the vessel struck the bridge at approximately 8:10pm Thursday. Authorities have said that there have been no reported injuries and they do not believe any vehicles fell from the bridge.

U.S. Coast Guard added that the M/V Delta Mariner was not carrying any hazardous cargo.

The 312-foot long and 8,000 horsepower M/V Delta Mariner, owned and operated by Foss Maritime, is used to carry Boeing rocket components, including rocket booster cores, for the Boeing Delta IV rocket program.

The versatile vessel is designed to navigate shallow inland waterways as well as the open ocean, and generally hauls rocket components approximately 550 miles from the Boeing factory in Decatur, Alabama down the Tennessee-Tombigbee waterway to the Gulf of Mexico, according to Foss’ website.

State officials say that the bridge, formally the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, was designed so that if it were struck that only portions of the structure would fail.

Inspectors estimate the gap in the bridge to be approximately 300 feet wide.

Full story…