Monthly Archives: November 2014

RNLI spend eight hours rescuing three men from grounded boat

The RNLI spent eight hours rescuing three men from their grounded boat on Wednesday afternoon.

Kirkwall RNLI lifeboat went to the scene of the three men after receiving a message that a vessel had run aground on rocks in strong tides.

The lifeboat and her crew launched at 4pm and arrived near the scene just before 4.30pm.

The vessel had gone aground on Seal skerry off Eday and was lying over to one side with the tide pushing her onto the rocks.

The lifeboat was unable to get close enough to help so an inflatable craft was sent to investigate.

An RNLI spokesperson said: “As the boat was not taking water at this time it was decided to leave the three crew aboard to monitor the condition of the hull.”

Assistance was sought from another local vessel and the boats waited until the tide rose sufficiently to refloat the casualty vessel off the skerry.

At around 6.30pm the three crew could be transferred onto the lifeboat.

Finally, just after 10pm, the stranded boat had been raised enough by the rising tide for a tow off to be attempted and the crew placed back on board. 

Once they’d checked that there were no signs of water ingress, the crew restarted the engine and made their way to Pierowall under the escort of two lifeboats.

After returning to their station and refueling, Kirkwall RNLI was readt for service again at 12.10am.

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EU to take Ireland to court over yacht fuel breaches

Irish legislation allows private pleasure boats to use marked fuel despite EU rules against it

The EU is taking Ireland to court over the misuse of marked fuel in private yachts after the country’s legislation has failed to be changed.

Currently in Ireland, private pleasure craft are allowed to buy and use a fuel that benefits from a reduced tax rate, despite EU rules against it.

As a result, the European Commission has decided to refer the country to the Court of Justice of the European Union for not properly applying the rules on fiscal marking on fuel.

Under EU legislation, fuel that can benefit from a reduced tax rate has to be marked by coloured dye.

Fishing boats are among some of the vessels allowed to use this fuel, while private yachts must use a fuel subject to a standard rate.

The European Commission said in a statement: “Currently, Ireland breaches EU law by allowing the use of marked fuel for the purposes of private pleasure craft.

“As a consequence, private leisure boats cannot only use fuel intended for fishing vessels but also risk heavy penalties if they travel to another member state and the boat is inspected by the local authorities.

“Moreover, it cannot be considered that Ireland has properly implemented its obligation to apply a minimum level of taxation in accordance with Directive 2003/96/EC.

While Irish law requires craft owners to pay to the Revenue the difference between the tax paid on marked gas oil and that due if the gas oil had been charged at the standard rate, the low number of tax returns indicate that the minimum level of taxation is not applied.”

The European Commission made a request for Irish authorities to amend the relevant legislation back in April, but so far nothing has been done.

“As there have been no changes to the legislation, the Commission has decided to bring the matter before the Court of Justice,” the commission said.

Royal Navy seizes £36m worth of cocaine after high-speed chase in Caribbean

It’s the third time in recent months that HMS Argyll has intercepted drug smugglers at sea

The Royal Navy has seized £36m worth of cocaine from a vessel following a high-speed midnight chase across the Caribbean.

This most recent drugs bust is the third carried out by HMS Argyll in the last few months, with the latest haul detaining 850kg of the illegal drug.

The Plymouth based frigate apprehended the suspect boat after being alerted by a US customs aircraft, which directed the ship to intercept.

HMS Argyll was pushed to maximum speed and quickly closed the 70-mile gap between them and the smugglers.

As the warship approached the suspect vessel, a high-speed chase ensued, with the smugglers attempting to dispose of the evidence by throwing it overboard.

High tech radar technology was used to guide a small patrol boat, which surrounded the smugglers and forced them to surrender.

Lieutenant Matthew Turner said: “It was an intense couple of hours as we were trying to out-think and out-maneuver a small boat which can change direction in an instant.

“I think our training, during which we push the ship and ourselves to the limit, really helped us to make this operation such a success.”

This is the third time the ship has intercepted drug smugglers, having now seized a total of 1,600kg of cocaine with a combined value of more than £68m.

HMS Argyll’s commanding officer Paul Hammond said: “This night time drugs seizure had no helicopter support and was our most challenging and satisfying yet.

“The Royal Navy has helped remove a large quantity of drugs from circulation and that, along with our disaster relief and engagement work, has helped demonstrate the value for money a modern day warship provides.”

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VIDEO: Humpback whale lunges out of water next to tourist boat

Footage filmed by Sanctuary Cruises shows humpack whales and sea lions leaping out of the water in a feeding frenzy

Footage filmed off the coast of California last week shows humpack whales and sea lions jumping out of the water as they feed.

Sanctuary Cruises, on the coast of California, leads marine biologist-led whale watching charter trips on Monterey bay.

It was during one of these trips that Michael Sack captured this video of humpback whales and sea lions in a feeding frenzy, as one huge humpback lunges out of the water right next to a tourist boat.

The video was taken on a whale-watching trip on Montery Bay, four miles outside of Moss Landing Harbour on 20 Novemver 2014.

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Video credit: Michael Sack

Great white shark bites Australian fishing boat

Caught on camera: the moment a 5m great white shark attacks a small fishing boat off Fremantle, Australia

David Lock was fishing with his father, Andrew, at 8.30am

Wednesday when a great white took a snap at their


Salmon fishing in a favourite location near Carnac Island

off Fremantle, south of Perth, the two men were astonished when a great white

shark began chasing the salmon Andrew had just hooked.

David Lock was reported saying: “I was just filming as my

dad hooked up a salmon and out of the blue comes a shark, we didn’t think he

was interested at the time and ended up he was, he launched at the fish and

launched at the boat.”

The shark, which was about 5m long, missed the salmon as it

launched itself, and instead hit the 7m fishing boat, knocking David and Andrew

over, and leaving bite marks on the hull of the boat.

“Got bite marks on my boat now. They’re pretty big, 50cm

from one end to another,” said David.

“It touched my right knee with what must have been its nose

or fin – that’s how it close was.

“It’s the shark’s playground, not ours and we’ve got to

remember how powerful and dangerous these sharks are, you can’t take it for


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DAME Award winners at the Marine Equipment Trade Show

Six category winners were chosen from a shortlist of 45 products, whittled down from 116 entries

The DAME Award Winner and Category Winners for 2014

were announced this morning at the Breakfast Briefing ahead of METS – the Marine Equipment Trade Show.

The DAME Awards brings together many of the important global marine product launches of the year with world recognised experts in boat and industrial design and construction.

The DAME Jury inspected 116 entries from

23 countries. It nominated a total of 45 products from this

field for consideration in the final judging rounds.

The Jury

decided that six products were of high enough quality to win

in their respective categories when moderated across the

whole field of DAME Award entries.

Seabung, as featured in Practical Boat Owner’s November issue New Gear pages, was credited as being this year’s stand out example of a simple idea to address a known issue.

Designed to enable a seacock to be replaced with a boat still in the water, the Seabung device uses a flexible dome mounted on a post with integrated safety lanyard eyelet.

This enables a boat owner to push the Seabung through a skin fitting to seal the dome against its outside flange.

Seabung director John Ford said: ‘I was very surprised to win a Dame Award. We only entered last minute. I’m amazed.’


Marine’s revolutionary new MOB (man over board) light achieved top honours in the Life Saving and Safety Equipment category.

Glomex weBBoat 4, as featured in the PBO’s December 2014 New Gear pages, won the Electronics and Marine Related Software category.

Marinco by BEP’s Pro-Installer EZ-Mount Battery Switches scooped the Machinery, Propulsion, Mechanical and Electrical Systems and Fittings award. The Jury really appreciated the simplicity

and ease of installation of this product; instead of working from the rear of the switch, you install the base, connect the cables and then attach the actuator and cover.

From the six category winners, an ultimate

DAME Award winner was chosen: the Jefa Steering Traveller, which removes the need for bulky steering

quadrants and improves rudder feedback at the helm for twin rudder, twin

wheel sailing yachts.

The Jury also identified

12 Special Mentions (non-winning products that nevertheless

merit commendation).

Chairman of the DAME Awards Jury, Bill Dixon said: ‘Developing new, well designed and innovative products is very difficult for relatively low manufacturing volumes.

‘Nevertheless many of the companies that we recognised in this year’s nominations have looked at a problem, found a new and interesting way to solve it and come up with a confident solution.’

Pictures: Seabung director John Ford and designer Chris Palliser; Exposure Marine’s Tom Harrop with their award

120 MPs unite in call for greater protection of UK seas

120 Members of Parliament (MPs) and 20 Peers are today calling for a full network of Marine Protected Areas in UK seas.


They are supporting 21 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) – including Marine Conservation Society, RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts and WWF – who are championing Wildlife and Countryside Link’s ‘Marine Charter’ campaign.


The Charter is calling for commitments within the 2015 General Election manifestos for a full network of Marine Protected Areas in UK Seas.

It is five years ago to the day since the landmark Marine & Coastal Access Act (2009) was passed with overwhelming cross-party support.

The centre-piece of this legislation was the commitment to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas in response to the widely acknowledged crisis facing the health, diversity and productivity of our seas.


Joan Edwards, chairman of Wildlife & Countryside Link’s Marine Working group, said: ‘This political support has added considerable weight to the united call from NGOs, overwhelming numbers of the public and the scientific and industry communities.

‘It is important, however, that this support translates into a firm, timetabled commitment as the parties craft their manifestos.’

While this Parliament has seen the first Marine Conservation Zones established in English Seas, and Scottish Government has designated 30 Nature Conservation MPAs in Scottish Seas, we remain a long way from the full network.

Throughout our seas 35 marine species are still considered threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Only 27 of the 127 Marine Conservation Zones originally proposed for the English component of the UK network, critical to restoring iconic habitats such as eelgrass beds and chalk reefs, have so far been designated.

For a full list of MPs and NGOs supporting Link’s Marine Charter campaign please visit

Picture: Cancer pagurus, commonly known as the edible crab, among other marine life. Credit: Rohan Holt/Marine Conservation Society

Search for man washed from sea wall in Torquay

The local coastguard have spent Thursday night searching for an elderly man suspected to have been washed from the sea wall in Torquay.

A search was underway last night amid severe weather conditions after a man was believed to have been washed into the sea.

The coastguard were called just after 9.30pm on Thursday to look for a man who is thought to have been washed off the sea wall on Meadfoot Sea Road in Torquay. 

A member of the public said he

briefly glimpsed an elderly man before large waves crashed over the wall

and he disappeared from view.

Torbay coastguard, two lifeboats

from Torbay and the RAF search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor

searched the area extensively throughout the night but were unable to

find anything. 

The Maritime and Coastguard

Agency this morning stated: “Unless any new information comes to light,

the search has been stood down.”

“Weather conditions on scene are described as poor, with 1.5-metre swell and a strong onshore wind.” 

The news comes after the Met

office issued a severe wind weather warning for various parts of the UK,

forecasting strong gales and heavy swells along the coast.

Devon has been especially badly hit, with winds reaching up to 90mph, causing Dawlish train station to temporarily close. 

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Image credit: Paul Hutchinson

Photo released of missing sailor

Police making enquiries into a yachtsman’s disappearance off Brighton have released a photograph of the missing sailor.

Leonard King, aged 74, of Alfriston, East Sussex hasn’t been seen since Sunday lunchtime after setting in his 70ft Sunseeker boat.

An extensive search got underway on Sunday evening when Mr King did not return home as expected and his luxury motor cruiser was found drifting at Brighton marina.

The search, which has now been suspended pending new information, involved the Shoreham and Newhaven Coastguard Rescue teams, Shoreham, Newhaven and Brighton lifeboats.

Conditions were so challenging that the RAF helicopter Rescue 125 had to be stood down due to an active lightning storm in the area.

After searching throughout the night, Brighton, Shoreham and Newhaven lifeboat crews were stood down at around 5.30am on Monday, but launched again at 7am at first light.

The Coastguard rescue helicopter 104 from Lee-on Solent also participated in Monday morning’s search.

Mr King’s wife Stephanie said it was very unusual for her husband to go missing.

She said: ‘I can’t understand what has happened. He is a very experienced yachtsman. He has all his equipment doubled up and is always careful. That is the way he runs things.’

A Sussex Police spokesman said: ‘Enquiries continue into the disappearance of yachtsman Leonard King on Sunday, November 9.

‘Detectives are investigating the circumstances leading up to his boat being found drifting at Brighton marina as part of this missing person enquiry.

‘Officers are working with other agencies such as the coastguard and the RNLI and Mr King’s family is being supported.’