The Lone Coastguard!

rynner2

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#1
I've mentioned http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ on various other threads. I've found fascinating stories of happenings at sea, most notably a recent drugs bust on Scilly, during which a yacht skipper died in a fall from the mast.

So this thread is for unusual happenings I come across at sea via my computer. But I'll mainly be concentrating on SW waters, so if anyone else wants to be a Lone Coastguard, feel free to join in!

Tonight I'm watching a whole fleet of French yachts (at least two dozen) passing W to E off the Lizard. I assume it's a single-handed race of some kind from some of the boat names, but I know no more than that. Nothing on the local news.
 

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#2
I'm still intermittently tracking my German yacht. She's been heading up the Irish Sea, last known port Howth, on the coast near Dublin.

(I've been there once, in June 1989. We met a chap who was, or had been, someone big in the Irish Government, perhaps even the Taoiseach, but after 24 years I've forgotten his name!)

Otherwise, just the treasure hunting ship Odyssey Explorer to mention - she's at anchor in Mounts Bay. She's apparently been working 40 or 50 miles SW of Scilly.
 

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#3
I've had to rush over to the east coast to see what's happening here:
Ferry damaged hitting dock in Harwich

A lifeboat has been launched after a ferry carrying 400 people struck the dock in Harwich, Essex, as it berthed.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing the Sirena Seaways vessel listing to its port side in Parkeston Quay after the accident.
Eric Chalmers, who is at the scene, said the ferry was "only just" upright in the water.

Essex Fire and Rescue Service said no-one was trapped and there had been no injuries but the vessel had been holed below the water line.

Mr Chalmers said: "I heard a horrible, really loud crumpling, thundery noise.
"I snapped my head around and there she is, ploughing straight into the docks bows-on"
He said the vessel had "got a hell of a list to port" but people could be seen on deck and appeared calm.

Station officer Terry Jewell, from Essex Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This is one of the regular ferries that comes into Harwich and as it docked it hit the side of the quay, making a hole under the water line.
"The ship is stable now and we are standing by as a precaution while the vessel is moved so that ramps can come down and passengers can leave.
"The ship's crew worked swiftly to put their safety plans into practice immediately the accident happened."

A spokeswoman for ferry owner DFDS said the ferry had just arrived at the port from Esbjerg in Denmark.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23014901
No sign of the LB on AIS - it must have been stood down now, as the accident happened about noon.
 

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#4
I may as well add this story to this thread

'Our wives and sweethearts' Naval toast rewritten

A traditional toast made at Royal Navy mess dinners on Saturday nights has been updated to reflect cultural changes, the Ministry of Defence says.
Naval officers will no longer raise their glasses to "Our wives and sweethearts" - typically met with the unofficial reply "May they never meet". ;)

Instead, they will say "Our families", following an instruction by the Second Sea Lord Vice-Admiral David Steel.
The MoD said it reflected that women have been at sea for over two decades.
A second toast - made on Tuesday nights - has been changed from "Our men" to "Our sailors".

Woman first served at sea in 1990, but it was only last year when the first woman was made commander of a frontline Royal Navy warship.
By the end of this year it is expected that women will serve on submarines alongside men for the first time in the service's 110-year history.

The navy has traditional toasts for every night of the week.
However, it is understood such toasts are mainly made during large celebratory dinners or when a ship has anchored - not every day.

On Sunday, officers might toast "absent friends, Monday is "Our ships at sea", Thursday is "A bloody war or a sickly season" and on Friday, glasses are raised to "A willing foe and sea-room".
Wednesday's toast is "Ourselves (as no-one else is likely to concern themselves with our welfare)"

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "To reflect cultural changes and our modern and inclusive Navy, two of the naval toasts used at mess dinners have been updated.
"The Royal Navy values the diversity and range of its personnel and it is only right that its traditional toasts should reflect the fact that women have been at sea for over 20 years."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23013395
 

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#5
I've been looking more closely at the coverage of the AIS stations used by marinetraffic.com

One, for Falmouth, showed the harbour and bay, and out as far as Scilly.

Another, for Falmouth Harbour, showed coverage of Antigua and Barbuda!

Which was really rather nice, as I'd been in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua just months before I moved to Falmouth, Cornwall, twenty-odd years ago!

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/defaul ... ldmmsi=959

The Lone Coastguard gets everywhere!
 

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#6
..I've even been up the Thames a few times:

Gravesend rowers rescued from Thames after boat snaps

Nine rowers had to be rescued when their boat was overwhelmed by a wave and snapped in half on the River Thames.
The crew from Gravesend Rowing Club spent 45 minutes in the water on Saturday afternoon before they were spotted by a tug boat off Gravesend.
Five were rescued by the tug Millgarth and the remaining four were pulled from the water by the Gravesend lifeboat.
One rower suffered mild hypothermia and had to be taken to hospital.

Alex Wood, captain of the rowers, recalled how conditions out on the river had changed really quickly.
"The waves got really high, so we turned it [the boat] around.
"We'd started rowing back and then what seemed like a gigantic wave hit us from the bow, filled the boat up, and then the boat snapped in two."

The crew were spotted clinging to the wreckage of what was left of their boat, waving their oars to attract passing ships.
Steve King, of Gravesend RNLI, said they were lucky to have been spotted.
"They were up to their shoulders in the water - it [the boat] was actually sinking underneath them.
"Had they been in the water any longer, we may have been dealing with a different scenario."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-23023722

I assume this was a normal rowing eight (eight oarsmen and a cox). They do have low freeboard, and so are liable to swamping in rough water - at least one has sunk this way in the Boat Race! But I never heard of one snapping before! :shock:

It's worth pointing out that the Thames is a tidal river, and we have big spring tides at present, thanks to the recent perigee full moon, and winds have been quite fresh. If the tide turns against the wind (or the channel turns to bring the tide against the wind), smooth water can rapidly become very choppy. I believe something of this nature happened, although I don't have the full details.

The only mystery is, surely people rowing on their local waters would be aware of these conditions?


P.S. Some happier rowing news:
World Rowing Cup: GB's Helen Glover & Polly Swann win gold

Olympic champion Helen Glover and her Great Britain team-mate Polly Swann took gold in the women's pair at the World Rowing Cup at Eton Dorney.

Glover, back at the scene of her London 2012 victory, and Swann fought off a late challenge from New Zealand to win by a length, with Germany third.
"It's amazing being back here. Eton Dorney is the place to be for rowing right now," said Glover, 27.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rowing/23020254
 

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#7
Meanwhile, back in the SW, the Scillonian has just arrived at the Scillies, and the Odyssey Explorer is working further SW of the archipelago.

Winds light NW, visibility very good - should be a quiet watch! ;)
 

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#8
My German yacht has continued up the Irish sea (probably under engine, as the winds there are very light) and is now in Ardglass, NI.

(Somewhere I've not been!)
 

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#9
Several French yachts are streaming northward past Lands End - seems to be part of a single-handed race. The wind is light, from the south.

Meanwhile the Scillonian is off the south coast of Cornwall on her regular run to Scilly.

Just one cargo ship anchored in Falmouth Bay, although she's been there several days now.
 

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#10
A big 6.0 m tide predicted for Scilly at 1908 BST, so the Scillonian departed via the shallows on the northern side of the island.

The tides are dropping away now, down to neaps by next w/e.
 

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#11
Have just noticed the Lizard LB underway. Is it on exercise, or on a shout..? Time will tell. (There's very little wind.)
 

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#12
The LB spent a while pootling about at low speed in a bay just south of the LB station, to which it has now returned. So it wasn't a shout, but if not an exercise it was probably checking out some technical modification.

So now I can take off my Coastguard hat and concentrate on the cricket! ;)
 

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#13
I've mentioned above the big tides created by the perigee Full Moon. Extra high high tides are one problem, but also the low tides are extra low, which is also a problem:
St Mawes Passenger Ferry Cornwall

Disruption on St Mawes Passenger Ferry between St Mawes and Falmouth due to low tides. There will be no sailings between 14:30 and 15:30 this afternoon.

Last updated 52 minutes ago
This is because the ferries can't reach the steps - St Mawes dries right out on Springs.
 

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#14
Another LB mystery today. Late p.m. I saw an RNLI LB approaching SW Cornwall from the SW.

1. Where was it coming from - there's nothing but Atlantic out there!

2. AIS gave the LB the number 17-11, but that's not one of our local boats.

Now the RNLI does have relief boats, for temporary replacements when a regular LB has to go for repairs or modification. But this was heading towards Mounts Bay from the open sea, rather than from along the coast, as a relief boat would.

After a visit to the pub, I looked for it again, but it seems to have vanished (or at least switched its AIS off). What's more, marinetraffic.com doesn't recognise the LB number! :shock:

Still, I did find my German yacht again, further up the Irish Sea. She put into Portpatrick in Scotland this afternoon.
 

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#17
The St Mary's LB 17-11 is currently on passage back to Scilly. She must have spent last night in Penzance. She'll pass the Scillonian heading the other way soon. LB doing 25 knots, ferry at 15 knots, they're now 11 miles apart... ;)

My friends on the German yacht continued north into the Firth of Clyde, and went into the marina at Troon within the last hour. I wonder if they realise that when they were anchored off Mullion, they were only 12 miles from Troon in Cornwall!
 

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#18
Another LB on the move, LB 17-45. According to marinetraffic.com, it has come from Scilly and its destination is SAR OPS. That could mean she's on a shout (I'm still learning my way around this website).

Musing... The Scilly LB 17-11 is back on station. Maybe 17-45 was the stand-by boat, which has now left to return to RNLI base (Poole). But if a shout came in after she had left, she might have been diverted to the casusalty if she was nearest...

EDIT: Yes, 17-45 is a Severn class LB and part of the relief fleet.
 

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#19
LB 17-45 has passed the Lizard, and is doing 26 knots in the lee of the land. From her course I suspect she's heading for Falmouth now, rather than continuing east towards Poole.
 

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#20
And so it came to pass - all tied up at the Falmouth LB station now, and the delivery crew will be off for a few beers with some of the locals, no doubt! 8)
 

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#21
Hadn't seen Odyssey Explorer for a while, but I found her 40 or 50 miles SW of Scilly. She's described as "Cable Towing", and she's doing straight runs E-W or W-E, so presumably she's doing sonar surveys.

Good luck to 'em! Any bullion down there is no use to anyone until it's recovered.
 

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#22
Another LB movement - The Plymouth LB, 17-35, is just outside Falmouth now, having come direct from Plymouth. (About 40 miles at 25 knots - not a long trip.)

It could be she's going into the repair slot vacated by the Salcombe LB. HW is at 0946 BST - getting her onto the cradle and into the shed would be easier near HW.
 

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#23
...but instead of continuing up the Penryn River to the boatyard at Flushing, she's put into the Falmouth LB station instead!
 

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#24
The Islanders complete GB Row 2013 race in record time

Four rowers have broken the record for the fastest time around the coast of Great Britain.
They took 26 days to row the 2,000-mile course and win the GB Row 2013 race.

Josh Taylor, 24, and Alan Morgan 23, both from Mersea Island, Essex, James Plumley, 24, from Guernsey, and Gavin Sheehan, 25, from Cork, in the Irish Republic, broke the record by 12 hours.
They will share £100,000 for setting a record time, plus £15,000 for winning the race.

The crew, known as the Islanders, crossed the finish line at London's Tower Bridge just before 17:30 BST on Thursday.
They completed the course in 26 days, nine hours and nine minutes and were greeted by friends and family as they finally set foot on dry land.

Mr Taylor, the skipper, said he believed teamwork was the key to their success.
"We are four very competitive guys and we're very close, we're like a family now," he said.
"We motivated each other the whole way round."

Mr Sheehan said the crew realised on Tuesday they would break the record.
"We didn't know if it was going to happen until two days ago... and all of a sudden you get a sniff of the finish line and it all changes. It's just incredible," he said.

Six other teams started the race on 1 June but four were forced to retire, mainly due to mechanical problems caused by rough seas.
The only other remaining team is the two-man Savoir Faire, which is not expected to finish for at least another week.

The Islanders carried on, despite a snapped oar and also turned down medical assistance after Mr Sheehan hurt his back in huge waves in the Bristol Channel.

Will de Laszlo, race president and skipper of the crew that set the previous record in 2005, said: "It was an epic effort.
"Massive congratulations to the record-breaking team."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23091436

Some people have to do things the hard way! God provided wind so that we could sail! ;)

But congratulations anyway!
8)
 

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#25
Relief LB 17-45 has now left Falmouth, but seems to be heading for Plymouth now. (Maybe to replace the Plymouth boat that went to Falmouth this morning...?)
 

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#26
Getting on for HW, and LB activity in St Ives, with both the inshore and offshore lifeboats apparently exercising together in the harbour.

(The harbour dries out at LW.)
 

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#27
Fairly quiet here today, but in Plymouth HMS Iron Duke is leaving the Hamoaze, with a couple of tugs trailing behind.

RN going to sea on a Saturday - is there a war on?!
 

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#28
The tugs have now turned back, and the Iron Duke was steaming across the Sound as if to leave by the eastern entrance, but now she's altered course... and is heading out of the western entrance!
 

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#29
Iron Duke now SW of Rame Head and heading SW. About 10 miles ahead of her is the Salcombe LB 16-01, also heading SW. One or both could be heading for Falmouth...
 
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