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A newly restored tall ship dating from the 19th century has been sunk after a collision with a container ship near Hamburg in Germany.

The Guardian reports that six adults and two children were injured among the 43 passengers rescued from the schooner Elbe No 5 after a failed tack put it on a collision course in the shipping lane with the Cyprus-flagged Astrosprinter on the River Elbe on Saturday (8 June).

The tall ship, which was originally built in 1883, had been restored in a €1.5 million project over the last nine months and had only resumed taking passengers on trips around Hamburg’s harbour at the end of May.

But it has now been lost as it sank while rescuers were towing it to shore.

“If we hadn’t been in the vicinity there could have been fatalities,” said one fire service official of the calamity.

The Guardian has more on the story HERE.

Published in Tall Ships

More than 1.5 million visitors from Germany and abroad enjoyed the world's biggest port festival from 9 to 12 May, with sunshine, wind and occasional showers. People were in excellent spirits for this year's 824th Hamburg Port Anniversary, which was celebrated for four days, starting one day earlier this year to make use of the public holiday for Ascension Day on the Thursday.

There were maritime attractions along the six kilometres of waterfront from HafenCity to the Oevelgönne Museum Harbour, with the unique backdrop of the Port of Hamburg and the celebrated Landungsbrücken (Landing Stage). Celebrations went on from morning to late at night, with plenty of excitement for people of all ages and good mood everywhere. The star attraction among the more than 300 ships from all parts of the world was the German Navy's sail training ship Gorch Fock, which was visited by more than 12,000 people during the Open Ship sessions. This year's partner country presented the ITALY-LIGURIA Festival at Kehrwiederspitze, enjoying great popularity as one of Europe's best loved travel destinations.

"There is no celebration in Hamburg which stands more for openness to the world and international flair than the Port Anniversary. This is when Hamburg opens its gateway to the world even wider; together with the people of Hamburg, guests from Germany and abroad experience the whole diversity of the maritime world in the Port," said Senator Frank Horch, Hamburg's Minister of Economics, Transport and Innovation. "We have so many partners and volunteers helping in front of and behind the scenes, putting so much commitment and passion into making this event a success. I am delighted with this vibrant, unforgettable festival, and would like to thank everyone who has played a part in it."

There were tall ships, heritage and museum ships, navy and rescue vessels, sailing boats and motor boats, a total of 13 cruise ships, and many more vessels – there was something for every taste, and a tremendous range of displays. Most of the ships moored at the waterfront invited people to come on board and look around. More than 90,000 enthusiasts made use of these Open Ship sessions to get a close-up view of the equipment and engineering on board. There were magnificent tall ships such as the Alexander von Humboldt II and the sail training ships Cisne Branco, Dar Młodzieży and Mir, and vessels of the public authorities and institutions met with great interest too – their crews were bombarded with questions by visitors. The Grand Arrival Parade on the Thursday was a thrilling start. The arrival of the vessels, passing Landungsbrücken in impeccable formation like a string of pearls, is a real nautical challenge, and is unparalleled anywhere in the world. Other programme highlights on the water included the world famous Tugboat Ballet on the Saturday. Action and excitement was running high for the daily show "SOS – Rescuers in Action", with demonstrations of rescue operations by the German Navy, the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, Federal Police, Waterways Police, Hamburg Port Authority, the THW Emergency Relief Service, and other authorities and institutions.

One of the absolute highlights of the 824th  was the big AIDA Firework Display on the Saturday Evening, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the banks of the River Elbe. This colourful pyrotechnical spectacle was opened with a laser show on board the AIDAluna and the starting signal from the bows of the Club ship, which was moored directly in front of Landungsbrücken to great effect. Three more luxury ships took special positions on the Elbe – Mein Schiff 1, which had just arrived in port from its Full Metal Cruise, celebrating in style with an ear-splitting birthday song; MS Europa 2, fresh from its christening off Blankenese on the Friday evening; and MS Deutschland, the television "Dream Ship", joining AIDAluna to create an impressive scene. AIDA Welt in the Beach Club at Landungsbrücken gave an ideal view of the fireworks.

On shore, along the Festival Promenade from Kehrwiederspitze to the Fish Auction Hall, and in Speicherstadt, HafenCity and the Oevelgönne Museum Harbour, there were four days of upbeat celebrations to mark the "birthday" of the Port of Hamburg. The musical bandwidth on the free-of-charge live performance stages extended from rock and pop to punk, shanties and klezmer music, and flamenco. The NDR (North German Broadcasting) provided the "Magic Sky" venue at Landungsbrücken for the first time, putting on a wide range of music and infotainment programmes and top acts such as DJ Antoine and Alphaville. Rock metal fans were well served at the ASTRA Hafenrock Stage at St. Pauli Hafenstrasse. One of the first-choice venues for families with children was the REWE Event Space at St. Pauli Fish Market.

Kehrwiederspitze was transformed with Italian flair at the ITALY-LIGURIA Festival presented by this year's partner country. It featured a range of culinary specialities from the coastal region of Liguria, such as olive oil, pesto and wines, and show displays by the world champions of pizza acrobatics. It also provided information on forward-looking European Community projects such as the "Smart Cities" network for improvement of the quality of life in cities.

Increasingly, visitors at the festival can also get away from the crowds around Landungsbrücken to celebrate and to enjoy the richness of the maritime world in art and culture. Museums, municipal institutions and private initiatives put on a range of exhibitions, visits and guided tours. Many of the special shows are closely focused on the theme of the Festival, highlighting aspects of life and work in the Port of Hamburg. For example the guided tours of the port gave fascinating insights, with the Port of Hamburg Marketing enlisting the help of local companies to showcase the exciting world of the goods handling terminals on the southern side of the Elbe. A multi-media exhibition called "re-rite. Be the Orchestra!" was held at the warehouse which is the foundation of the Elbe Philharmonic Concert Hall (currently in construction), giving visitors of all ages a chance to hit the drums or wave the conductor's baton themselves.

The police were satisfied with the festival. It was calm and orderly for an event of this magnitude with well over a million participants. That was also confirmed by the Fire Service and the aid and rescue organisations.

The world's greatest port festival is organised by the City of Hamburg, represented by the Hamburg Ministry of Economics, Transport and Innovation. Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH (HMC) has been responsible for running the festival since 1994. The 825th HAMBURG PORT ANNIVERSARY will be held from 9 to 11 May 2014.

Published in Maritime Festivals

Billed as the world's greatest Port Festival, five of the world's largest and most beautiful tall ships – and at least one, the Mir, is also entered for the Tall Ships race in Waterford in June – have announced their presence at Hamburg next month.

Also coming to Hamburg is the Dar Mlodziezy, the Kruzenshtern, the Mir, the Sedov and the Sea Cloud. Each of these classic sailing ships, at home on the oceans of the world, is more than 100 metres in length, and captures the romance of maritime life.

The HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG has a thing or two to show off about given its large fleet of boats and Tall Ships that are gathering this year for the 822nd time. It's an opportunity to for Irish port festivals aiming to exploit the marine leisure resources around the Irish coastline.

The Sea Cloud, built in Kiel in 1931, and the largest private yacht in the world at the time, will be present at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG for the first time, back in Hamburg for the first time in 33 years.

In Hamburg, there will be tall ships and cruise vessels, naval ships and emergency service boats, heritage and museum ships, sailing and motor yachts, dragon boats, and even a Roman galley. Altogether more than 300 vessels from the seven seas will be taking part, on display in their element before the fantastic backdrop of Hamburg's Landing Stages (Landungsbrücken) from 6 to 8 May at the world's greatest Port Festival.

The port is more lively than ever on the three days of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG", says Captain Jörg Pollmann, in eager anticipation. "All those different ships and displays on the Elbe combine to form a unique celebration, which brings more than a million visitors to the Port of Hamburg every year." The guests from Germany and abroad can look forward to a superlative programme on the water, starting with the Grand Arrival Parade from 16:30 on Friday 6 May, and ending with the Grand Departure Parade at 17:30 on Sunday 8 May. There are also plenty of maritime attractions at the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour and at the HafenCity traditional maritime harbour.

Meeting of the luxury liners
Visitors are warned that watching the six cruise ships arriving and departing on the three days of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG may cause itchy feet and severe travelitis! The AIDAcara, AIDAblu and Mein Schiff 2 will be arriving on the Friday, the Amadea and the Fram, an expedition ship from Norway, will follow on the Saturday. And to top it all, the Queen Mary 2 will call in Hamburg on the Sunday. Costa Crociere, Europe's largest cruise ship operator, has just chosen Hamburg as the new home port for its cruise ship Costa Magica, and will join in the celebrations, sponsoring the great Costa Cruises Firework Display at 22:30 on Saturday 7 May, lighting up the night sky over the Elbe.

International navy visit and maritime adventurer from Norway
The world's greatest Port Festival traditionally brings a large naval contingent from Germany and elsewhere to Hamburg. From Germany there will be the frigate Sachsen, the fast patrol boat Hermelin and the mine hunters Homburg and Hameln. Norway, the partner country of HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, will be represented by the frigate Otto Sverdrup, and Belgium by the mine hunters Crocus and Primula.
Norway, the partner country for this year's HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, is also sending vessels of various designs and uses to visit Hamburg. The Arctic sailing ship Berntine will welcome visitors on board in the HafenCity Traditional Harbour. She was built at the Tromsøer shipyard in 1890 and restored several times since then. Sjøkurs is a training ship, built by the Hamburg shipyard Blohm & Voss in 1956 as the Postal Vessel Ragnvald Jarl. Today she accommodates 60 cadets on board, and travels around Norway and to other countries about ten weeks per year. The Fram, an expedition ship, will moor at the Hamburg Cruise Center in HafenCity. She is the latest addition to the Hurtigruten fleet and was christened by Norway's Crown Princess Mette Marit on 16 May 2007.

On duty for safety and security
The challenges of work on the high seas will be demonstrated by a range of modern working vessels from the fire services, fisheries protection, THW emergency services, the waterways police and the customs. The rescue cruiser John T. Essberger, owned by the German Lifeboat Institution DGzRS, will make its final appearance at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG before decommissioning. It will then start on its final voyage to the Technical Museum of Speyer, where it will in future be moored as a museum vessel.

Dancing tug boats and heritage ships
One of the traditional highlights of the maritime programme is the unique Tug Boat Ballet at 17:00 on the Saturday, when the 5000 hp working tugboats perform their pirouettes on the Elbe.
A fleet of classic steamships will give a special birthday greeting from the Oevelgönne Heritage Harbour when they pass the Landing Stage at 16:00 on the Saturday, "full steam ahead" – not only puffing out clouds of smoke from their chimneys, but also releasing balloons from their decks.

On-board visits
Many of the vessels at HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, including the tall ships and naval units, will hold Open Days for visitors to look around on board. Many of the launches and passenger ships also invite visitors to HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG to go on board and join in the Parades, or to tour the vessel.


Published in Tall Ships

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.


At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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