Archive for 07/11/2012

gCaptain –

Royal Dutch Shell Plc should be barred from drilling in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas because its oil-spill plans are inadequate, Greenpeace Inc. and other environmental groups said in a lawsuit.

Greenpeace, the National Audubon Society and other groups sued the U.S. Interior Department, which approved Shell’s spill- response plans earlier this year, saying the agency violated the Clean Water Act by failing to ensure the plans can address a “worst-case oil spill.”

The approvals for Shell’s response plans should be thrown out, and offshore oil and gas activity blocked, until the Interior Department complies with the law, the groups said in a complaint filed today in federal court in Alaska.

The filing couldn’t be confirmed in electronic court records. Shell’s drilling off Alaska’s north coast will be delayed until August as the company waits for ice to clear and modifies a spill-response vessel to meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements, the company said in July.

Full story…

Adam Cooper – 

Mystery surrounds the failure of an experienced scuba diver from Preston to surface in perfect conditions from one of Victoria’s most popular dive spots.

Police and divers, who will resume the search this morning, say there is little chance of finding the 42-year-old woman alive after she was reported missing about 3.30pm on Saturday after diving around a shipwreck off Point Lonsdale.

An extensive sea and shore search by the police, coast guard, diving vessels and SES failed to find the woman, who had logged more than 50 dives in Victorian waters.

The woman had finished diving with a charter group around the wreck of the SS Coogee in an area known as “Ships Graveyard” when she was separated from her dive buddy while on the way back to the surface.

The police air wing continued the search through Saturday night and into yesterday morning, when police divers searched the shipwreck.

Volunteers also searched beaches in the area and on the other side of Port Phillip Bay, at Point Nepean and Sorrento.

Inspector Gary Bruce said the pair had dived together before and were following the right procedures, but that there was nothing to indicate exactly what went wrong.

“We’re at a bit of a loss. It’s one of those situations where, will we ever know ?

I’m not sure,” he said.

Full story…

Minews 26 –

Indonesian police located and rescued eight European tourists on Friday after their boat drifted away while they were diving off the coast of Bali, leaving them stranded in the water, officials said on Saturday.

The eight people were part of a group of twelve tourists from France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany that had gone diving off Indonesia’s popular resort island of Bali.

The tourists had rented a boat and took off on Thursday, but contact with the vessel was later lost, prompting a search-and-rescue operation.

Four of the tourists were located shortly after rescue workers arrived in the area, but the eight others remained missing until Friday morning, when they were spotted by local fishermen.

Bali Police chief Inspector General Budi Gunawan told the Antara news agency that the remaining eight tourists were found stranded in the Nusa Penida waters in Klungkun.

The cause of the mishap remains uncertain, but officials believe strong winds and waves may have contributed to the incident.

He said it happened when the tourists went diving for the third time and, when they returned to the surface, they discovered the boat had gone missing.

The tourism agency and diving company hired by the tourists are being investigated by police, Antara reported.

Sandeep Unnithan –

A 38-year old homemaker has become the first Indian woman to qualify as a Master Scuba Diving Trainer (MSDT).

Archana Sardana, based in New Delhi, qualified for the MSDT in Phuket, Thailand last week.

She is also India’s only woman base jumper – an extremely hazardous sport of jumping from fixed objects like buildings, antennae, bridges and cliffs.

“I plan to train kids to be fearless in land, sea and air,” she said. The MSDT, certified by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors is one of the most grueling scuba diving courses and comes after courses in deep diving, enriched air diving, emergency oxygen provider and wreck diving.

An adrenaline junkie, she is also a qualified sky jumper and mountaineer and has already logged over 150 dives.

She unfurled the Indian flag at a depth of 18 metres off Neil Island, Port Blair in March last year.

The wife of a serving commander in the Indian navy, she has two children Pranav 11 and Ayush, 9, studying at Shimla’s Bishop Cotton School.