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Displaying items by tag: Philippines

#Piracy - The body of a German sailor held hostage by militants in the Philippines late last year has been found, as RTÉ News reports.

Seventy-year-old Jurgen Kantner was murdered last week by terror group Abu Sayyaf after their ransom demands of more than half a million euros were not met, according to the Philippine government.

Kantner had been captured in November by the IS-aligned militant group, who killed his companion Sabine Merz when their yacht Rockall was boarded off the southern Philippines in an kidnapping blackspot, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The incident came eight years after the couple had been held hostage for 52 days by Somali pirates at the Horn of Africa.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
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#Piracy - A German sailor has been abducted and his companion killed by militants off the southern Philippines — eight years after the couple were held hostage by Somali pirates.

According to Mail Online, the terror group Abu Sayyaf — which specialises in kidnappings for high ransoms — has claimed responsibility for abducting 70-year-old Jurgen Kantner and killing Sabine Merz, whose body was reportedly found by the Filiino military on the couple’s yacht Rockall.

The region where the yacht was found is generally avoided by foreign yachts due to the high risk of kidnapping. Earlier this year two Canadian men were beheaded by Abu Sayyaf after the group’s ransom demands were not met.

In 2009, Kantner expressed his own concerns about a second kidnapping following payment of a ransom to Somali pirates who had held him and Merz for 52 days the previous year.

"I really hope the pirates don't catch me because this time no one will pay and everybody will tell the pirates: 'Keep him'," he told news agency AFP.

Mail Online has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
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#Philippines - Howth Coast Guard will be hosting a donation drive for clothing and other items needed by people in the Ajuy area of the Philippines currently recovering from the recent Typhoon Haiyan disaster.

The coastguard station on the West Pier in Howth will be open this Saturday 23 November from 12pm to 2pm to take in light clothes such as shorts and T-shirts that are suitable for the warm climate in the Philippines.

Light bed linen and towels will also be accepted, and donors are asked to roll their items as tightly as they can into a bag so that the courier boxes can be filled as much as possible.

Published in News Update
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#Diving - The Daily Inquirer in the Philippines turns the spotlight on Irish diver David Joyce, who together with British business partner Matt Reed runs the Evolution diving school in northern Cebu which specialises in technical dives such as wreck explorations, and more recently the recovery of a downed aircraft.

A former TV producer and director, Joyce tells how he met Reed during a holiday in the Philippines in 2008 and suggested the idea of setting up shop in the country together.

Five years on and the pair now employ 24 people across 10 properties, training locals and tourists alike in the more technical aspects of diving, going deeper with more specialised equipment.

“Everything has to be calculated," says Joyce. "When you return to the surface, it has to be slow  taking 90 minutes to two hours or 3 meters per minute).
You have to be prepared—four tanks containing different gases, regulators and rebreather units have to be on standby."

Aside from their particular interest in wreck dives - including the discovery of what might be the wreck of the MV Pioneer Cebu, which sank in 1966 with 262 passengers aboard - the duo are dedicated to preserving the natural resources of their tropical island paradise.

That involves working with the local coastguard to prevent destruction of delicate coral reefs and the decline of the catch for local fishermen.

The Daily Inquirer has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Diving

#TITANIC - Irreverent tech website Gizmodo has marked the 100th annversary of the sinking of the Titanic with a list of the 13 deadliest shipwrecks in history.

The list runs the gamut from well over a century ago, in the early days of passenger shipping - see the SS Sultana, a tragedy overshadowed by the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the American Civl War - to more recent events.

Included are such as sad tales as that of the Empress of Ireland, the worst disaster in Canadian maritime history in which more than 1,000 died, and much closer to home the Lusitania, which went down off Kinsale in May 1915 after a torpedo attack.

But the worst was arguably suffered by the passengers of the steamship SS Kiangya - which blew up 50 miles north of Shanghai in December 1948, taking as many as 3,920 lives - and the horror that befell the MV Doña Paz in the Philippines in December 1987, where estimates put the death toll at an unbelievable 4,000.

Gizmodo has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

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