Archive for 02/28/2012

RT –

“A year has passed since I wrote my note,” Sting once sang – but a year was not too long a time for a message in a bottle sent adrift by Russian sailors three years ago and recently uncovered by an Australian diver.

In 2009 a yacht manned by a Russian crew led by the famous adventurer Fyodor Konyukhov, set sail for a world tour.

This involved sailing in a yacht called “Scarlet Sails” from New Zealand to Europe via Cape Horn, the Falkland Islands and Antigua all the way up to the British port of Falmouth.

Starting out from Auckland in January, the crew managed to reach Cape Horn by February 12. Cape Horn, the southernmost headland of Tierra del Fuego in Chile, was a major landmark for sailing ships on the clipper route before the advent of steam boats and the construction of the Suez and Panama canals, but was notorious as a graveyard of sailors owing to the strong winds, huge waves and icebergs in its vicinity.

The crew decided to celebrate passing such a notable and dangerous hazard by opening a bottle of Australian-made champagne.

Mikhail Yelsin, a university teacher from the Siberian city of Khabarovsk, came up with the idea of a message about the trip, stuck it into the empty bottle and threw it overboard, according to Oskar Konyukhov, son of the yacht’s captain Fyodor Konyukhov.

Yelsin was the one who wrote the text of the message, which included three e-mail addresses: his own, Oskar Konyukhov’s and that of another crew member.

Full story…


Hugh Bronstein – 

Provincial authorities in Argentina prohibited two British-linked cruise ships from docking in Tierra del Fuego on Monday, upping the ante in Argentina’s spat with Britain over the Falkland Islands.

The two countries fought a 10-week war over the Falklands in 1982 after Argentina invaded the South Atlantic archipelago. Tensions have risen before the 30th anniversary of the war this year, and oil exploration by British companies off the islands has raised the stakes.

London has refused to start talks demanded by Buenos Aires on the sovereignty of the Falklands unless the 3,000 residents of the islands call for them, which they show no signs of doing.

One of the ships turned away on Monday was the Star Princess, which was sailing under the flag of Bermuda, an overseas territory of Britain. It was prevented from docking in the southern Argentine port of Ushuaia, capital of Tierra del Fuego province, Argentina’s state news agency Telam said.

“The government of the province of Tierra del Fuego prohibited a cruise ship under the flag of a British colony from entering the port of Ushuaia, citing a provincial law linked to Argentina’s complaint over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands (as the archipelago is known in Argentina),” Telam said.

The luxury cruise liner, which has a capacity of 2,600 passengers, had made a stop at Port Stanley in the Falklands before heading to Ushuaia, according to media reports. It had docked in Ushuaia during previous cruises, before the recent increase in diplomatic tensions, Telam said.

Full story…

gCaptain –

Costa Cruises can’t catch a break. Just 6 weeks after the Costa Concordia ran aground off Italy, another one of their cruise ships, the Costa Allegra has caught fire and is now adrift two hundred miles southwest of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean.

The vessel remained without power or lights as night fell. As we know, 200 miles southwest of Seychelles is not exactly the safest place for an adrift vessel in terms of piracy however it has been reported that the vessel does have an Italian security detail on board.

The following is the statement from Costa Cruises: Costa Cruises has been informed that today at 10:39, Italian time, a fire developed on board Costa Allegra in the engine room, the local electric generators located at the stern. procedures and the system of fire board were promptly activated and the special brigades of the board have occurred, the fire was extinguished and did not extend to any other area of the ship. There were no injuries or casualties.

As a precaution on board was promptly given the general emergency alarm, all passengers and crew members, not involved in emergency management, they went to muster stations with the safety equipment required.

Currently the ship is over 200 miles south-west of the Seychelles and about 20 miles from Alphonse Island, are ongoing checks on the state of the engine room to be able to restart the equipment necessary to reactivate the functionality of ship.

As per procedures, were advised the competent authorities, including the Maritime Rescue Control Centre of Rome, who are following the developments of the situation to give the necessary support. The ship launched a distress signal.

Full story…