Archive for 05/01/2012

gCaptain – 

At least three sailors competing in a yacht race from Newport Beach, CA to Ensenada, Mexico have been killed and one still remains missing after an apparent collision with a large cargo ship.

Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA), host of the N2E annual regatta, said that the sailboat Aegean, a Hunter 376 representing the Little Ships Fleet club, vanished from the race’s online tracking system at approximately 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Hours later, vessels in the area of the Coronado Islands reported finding debris in the water, which prompted the launch of a Coast Guard search leading to the discovery of the wreckage, including the rear transom with the vessel’s name on it.

By mid afternoon, the bodies of three crewmembers and loads of badly beaten debris had been recovered.

The search for the fourth crewmember continued Sunday, but was called off Sunday afternoon by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation, but initial reports indicate that the incident appears to be the result of collision with a much larger ship that did not see or even likely know of the collision.

Full story…


Paul Fraser Collectibles – 

A unique US Cold War ship is currently at auction, amid fears that the historic piece could end up as scrap metal.

The Sea Shadow, built by Lockheed Martin in 1983, was able to sail undetected by radar thanks to design features it borrowed from planes such as the F-117 Nighthawk.

Although not believed to have ever carried weapons, the ship was designed to test the possibilities of stealth warfare on the ocean waves.

“We operated with impunity,” SK Gupta, Sea Shadow’s test director from 1988 to 1995, told the Sacramento Bee newspaper.

“We could take anybody down at night.”

The US’ General Services Administration is auctioning the 146 foot long historic ship for scrap metal after attempts to sell the item to a museum have failed.

It was last in service in 2006. “While several letters of interest were received …

our only disposition option is dismantling and recycling,” Navy spokesperson Christopher Johnson told the newspaper.

Full story…


Oceanus –

Climate scientists have predicted that ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific will rise significantly by the end of the century, wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems.

But a new study shows that climate change could cause ocean currents to operate in a surprising way that mitigates the warming near some islands right on the equator.

As a result these Pacific islands may become isolated refuges for corals and fish, according to the study by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists Kristopher Karnauskas and Anne Cohen, published April 29 in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Here’s how it would happen: At the equator, trade winds push a surface current from east to west. About 100 to 200 meters below, a swift countercurrent flows in the opposite direction.

This Equatorial Undercurrent (EUC) is cooler and rich in nutrients. When it hits an island, like current hitting a rock in a river, water is deflected upward on the island’s western flank and around the islands.

This well-known upwelling process brings cooler water and nutrients to the sunlit surface, creating localized areas where tiny marine plants and corals flourish.

On color-enhanced satellite maps showing measurements of global ocean chlorophyll levels, these productive patches of ocean stand out as bright green or red spots.

One of the most prominent occurs around the Galapagos Islands in the eastern Pacific.

But heading westward from the Galapagos, chlorophyll levels fade like a comet tail, giving scientists little reason to look closely at scattered low-lying coral atolls farther west.

The islands are easy to overlook because they are tiny, remote, and lie at the far left edge of standard global satellite maps that place continents in the center.

Full story…


All Voices – 

At least 35 people have died and 75 are missing after a boat wreck today in a river in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, a police source cited by local media.

The regional police chief, JN Choudhry, said the accident occurred in Fakiragram area, located in the district of Dhubri, where a boat carrying about 200 passengers who sailed on the river Brahmaputra sank because of a heavy storm.

The incident took place in a remote and isolated area, about 350 kilometers from the state capital, Guwahati.

Contingents of police and paramilitary body of the army have moved to the area to participate in the rescue efforts, according to the NDTV television channel.

The Indian northeast, which includes a number of small states with large ethnic and linguistic diversity, stands next to Bangladesh, Bhutan and Burma, and is only attached to the rest of India by a narrow neck of land.

The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet and take in the entire state of Assam before flowing into the huge delta of the Ganges in neighboring Bangladesh.

The boating accidents are relatively common in this part of the Indian subcontinent, full of rivers, tributaries and lakes, often due to the precarious state of the vessels as they exceed the permitted limit of passengers.

Last March, at least 142 people died in a shipwreck similar in Bangladesh.