Archive for 02/06/2012

Jim Morrison –

It’s a World War II campaign largely forgotten, a coastal reign of terror Joe Hoyt and a team of marine archaeologists are determined to bring into sharp focus 70 years later.

During the first six months of 1942, German U-boats, often hunting in wolf packs, sank ship after ship just miles off the East Coast of the United States, concentrating their ambushes along North Carolina, where conditions were most favorable.

From the beaches, civilians could see the explosions as the submarines sank more Allied tonnage in those months than the entire Japanese Navy would destroy in the Pacific during the entire course of the war.

German submariners dubbed it the “American Shooting Season.”

While estimates of the carnage vary according to where boundaries are drawn, one survey concluded that 154 ships were sunk and more than 1,100 lives lost off the North Carolina coast in that period.

“It’s always surprised me that it’s not something everyone knows.

It was the closest war came to the continental United States,” says Hoyt, a marine archaeologist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary staff in Newport News, Virginia.

“For six months, there were sinkings nearly every day off the coast. We think it’s an important part of American history.”

Full story…

Wahyoe Boediwardhana –

The capabilities of Indonesian submarines are now on par with those fielded by neighboring countries after undergoing an overhaul in South Korea, Navy chief of staff Adm. Soeparno said Monday.

He was speaking at a ceremony welcoming the return of KRI Nanggala 402, which had been undergoing an overhaul process for the past 24 months by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Busan, South Korea. Made in 1981 by German shipbuilder Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in Kiel, the Type 209/1300 KRI Nanggala was the second submarine after being overhauled at DSME facilities after KRI Cakra 401 was overhauled in 2006.

“With the completion of the overhaul, now the capabilities of our submarines are on par with submarines deployed by our neighbors,” Soeparno told reporters after the ceremony at the Navy Eastern Fleet Command pier in Surabaya.

Malaysia has two French-made Scorpene class submarines.

Singapore operates four Challenger-class submarines and two Archer-class submarines that were acquired from the Swedish Navy.

Australia operates six Collins-class submarines that were built under cooperation with Sweden.

Australia will modernize its submarine fleet by building 12 new larger submarines still in cooperation with Sweden.

Vietnam will begin to receive four Russian-made Kilo class submarines from 2015.

During the overhaul process, KRI Nanggala was undergoing a retrofit, including replacing the upper structure from bow to stern, some parts of the propulsion system, sonar, radar, weapons system and combat management system (CMS).

Full story…


RT – 

Two Iranian naval ships have docked in the Saudi port of Jeddah. Iranian officials say the move aims to project the country’s “power on the open seas” and “confront Iranophobia.”

The supply ship Kharg and destroyer Shaid Qandi docked on Saturday in the Red Sea port in line with orders from the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to Iran’s news agency, Fars.

“This mission aims to show the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the open seas and to confront Iranophobia,” Fars quoted navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayari as saying.

The commander added that the mission would last between 70 and 80 days, but did not specify its route.

Tehran says boosting its naval presence in international waters is in part motivated by the need to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates.

This is why Iranian vessels were deployed to the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden last year.

In February 2011, for the first time ever, it also sent two naval vessels into the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.

The rise in Iran’s naval activity comes amid a steep deterioration of its relations with the West.

Its ties with Saudi Arabia are also in poor health, and have gone downhill fast since America accused Tehran of masterminding a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Full story…


Maggie Lu YueYang –

Two award-winning filmmakers working on a documentary with renowned Hollywood director James Cameron were killed in a helicopter crash in Australia on Saturday, according to National Geographic.

American cinematographer Michael deGruy, 60, and Australian TV writer-producer Andrew Wight, 52, were killed when their helicopter crashed shortly after takeoff from an airstrip south of Sydney, the media group said on its website.

Police did not release the victims’ identities immediately. However, National Geographic and Oscar-winning director Cameron confirmed their deaths in a statement released on Sunday. “

… the deep-sea community lost two of its finest,” the statement said.

DeGruy and Wight were long-time colleagues of Cameron.

Wight co-produced the feature film “Sanctum 3D” with Cameron after accompanying him on six deep-ocean documentary expeditions. DeGruy, an Emmy award winner with 30 years’ experience in ocean filmmaking, was director of undersea photography for Cameron’s “Last Mysteries of the Titanic.”

“Mike and Andrew were like family to me,” Cameron said in the statement.

“Their deaths are a tremendous loss for the world of underwater exploration, conservation, and filmmaking,” he said.