Archive for 05/20/2012

Ouest France –

Un naufrage, au large de Mayotte, a causé la mort d’au moins cinq personnes.

Quinze personnes sont portées disparues. Cinq personnes ont péri et 15 sont portées disparues dans le naufrage d’une embarcation venue d’Anjouan, aux Comores, survenu samedi au large de Mayotte.

C’est ce qu’a annoncé, ce dimanche, le ministère de l’Outre-mer.

Ce « kwassa-kwassa » (canot de pêche à moteur) transportait, « selon les premiers témoignages, 43 personnes dont quatre enfants », a indiqué le ministère dans un communiqué.

« Le bilan provisoire fait état de 19 personnes rescapées, 15 disparus et cinq corps retrouvés, dont trois enfants », ont ajouté les services de Victorin Lurel.

Parmi les trois enfants décédés, figure un bébé.Le naufrage a eu lieu samedi en fin d’après-midi.

« Les premiers rescapés ont été secourus par le club de plongée de l’hôtel Jardin Maore à Ngouja sur la commune de Boueni », au sud-ouest de cette île française de l’Océan indien.

Victorien Lurel, nouveau ministre des Outre-mer, « s’est assuré du déclenchement immédiat du plan Secmar (sécurité en mer) », a ajouté le ministère.

« Les moyens aériens et nautiques nécessaires sont en place et seront maintenus le temps qu’il faudra », selon le communiqué officiel.


Mark Brown – 

Nasa is to reveal details of robotic and manned missions to near Earth asteroids at a Japanese conference in May 2012, according to the Telegraph.

In the agency’s report, which is to be presented to the Japan Geoscience Union Meeting, Nasa will reportedly announce plans to send an unmanned spacecraft to an asteroid in 2016, and use a robotic arm to collect samples. In the late 2020s, a manned mission will follow.

The asteroid could be up to four million kilometres from the Earth. That’s a tad farther than the Moon, which is just 400,000 km away from our planet, but a lot closer than Mars which is about 56 million km away.

The entire trip would take around a year, and astronauts could stay on the space rock for up to a month.

Training for the mission will start in May. Six astronauts (one of them, Major Tim Peake, is the first official British astronaut with the European Space Agency) will be flown to an underwater base off the coast of Florida.

There, they’ll spend 12 days living 20 metres beneath the ocean.

The training mission — named Nasa Extreme Environment Mission Operation, or NEEMO — will apparently simulate working in the difficult low gravity environment of an asteroid.

The capsule will be 13 by six metres, and will require 12 hours of decompression before resurfacing.

Full story…

Emily Sohn – 

The Potomac River snakes through Washington, D.C., on its way to the Chesapeake Bay, drawing visitors and wildlife to its scenic shores.

But the watershed of the nation’s capital is currently the most endangered in the United States, according to this year’s list by American Rivers, a conservation group that has been ranking troubled rivers since 1986.

Even though the Potomac is much cleaner than it used to be, pollution remains a problem, according to the organization.

The Nation’s River is threatened by many of the same problems plaguing other waterways across the country, including natural gas drilling, new dam construction and cutbacks in Congress for clean water legislation.

With the annual list, American Rivers hopes to bring attention to efforts to protect and restore the country’s clean water resources.

Here is this year’s full list, including each river’s major threats:

1. Potomac River (Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington, D.C.) Threat: Pollution; Clean Water Act rollbacks

2. Green River (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado) Threat: Water withdrawals

3. Chattahoochee River (Georgia) Threat: New dams and reservoirs…

Full story…

This Is Kent – 

The project leader of the team behind the construction of a replica Dover Bronze Age boat has vowed to attempt another launch after the craft took on water at its first sea trial last Saturday.

The public launch was to mark the end of more than three months work by a specialist team, including Canterbury Archaeological Trust deputy director Peter Clark, on building the vessel on Dover’s Roman Lawn using Bronze Age era tools.

The boat is a half scale replica of the 3,500 year old craft found in the centre of Dover 20 years ago during work on Townwall Street.

It will form the centre-piece of a £1.7 million, three-year European exhibition focused on the era and connections across the Channel starting in Boulogne next month.

The boat build and launch has been filmed as part of a Time Team special and crew members including frontman Tony Robinson were present for the failed attempt.

The craft had been lowered into the marina but had to be winched out almost immediately when water started to fill it.

Instead of being paddled up to the slipway on the seafront the craft was brought on the back of a trailer to the promenade by the Dover Sea Sports Centre so the gathered crowd, including Dover District Council chairman Sue Nicholas, could see it.

Mr Clark said he hopes to attempt another launch before the replica travels to Boulogne for the exhibition opening on June 30.

He said: “I am terribly disappointed, especially after such a hard week, but we faced challenges all the way along. We are going to go away, sleep on it and think about the lessons we have learnt.

“There was a lot of water coming in but we think the leaks were fairly localised.We think 80 per cent of it held but it failed along two seams which we were still doing at 2am (Saturday morning).

“We will launch it again.”

Full story and photos…