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Displaying items by tag: Scotland

#aquatictourism – The British Marine Federation is launching a Marine Tourism Strategy in March at the Scottish Tourism Week National Conference. Over 500 decision makers and key players in the tourism industry will be attending the event.

By 2020, the BMF say they want Scotland to be: "A marine tourism destination of first choice for high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience delivered by skilled and passionate people."

The Marine Tourism Strategy is an initiative led by a working group of industry leaders and user groups together with public agencies and enterprise bodies to focus on the sustainable growth of Scotland's marine leisure sector. 'With your help we can build the economic benefits of marine tourism for Scotland as a whole, and for all of our individual businesses, teams, employees and families' says BMF. 

Scotland's marine environment is one of its crown jewels and encompasses some of the world's most beautiful and varied boating waters. Whether visitors seek adventure, wildlife, family boating experiences, day or extended visits, coastal, offshore or inland waters, Scotland's marine offer is complete, varied and of the highest standard.

 

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#Shipping - A cargo ship en route from Belfast to Norway has run aground near Ardnamurchan Point in Scotland's West Highlands.

And as BBC News reports, the UK coastguard believes it will be stuck there for some time.

The Lysblink Seaways, a 120m-long vessel, found its hull lifted onto the rocky shore after getting into difficulty off Kilchoan in the early hours of yesterday morning (18 Feburary).

There are no reports of injuries among the nine crew on board, and tugs are on the way to try to dislodge the hull from its perch.

BBC News has images of the stricken ship HERE.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#youthsailing – A young Cumbrian lad is celebrating after becoming one of the youngest ever professional yacht masters, at the tender age of 18. Former Windermere School pupil, Dominic Jackson, has passed the 'professional yacht master offshore course', delivered by the North West Sports Centre on the island of Cumbrae, in Scotland. Dominic, who is described by his family as a 'natural sailor', started learning the ropes aged 10, at the International School in Qatar.

Registered disabled, having been born with only one hand, Dominic successfully completed the gruelling 18 week course, along with two other students, sailing throughout the night and until 3am up the East Coast of the Isle of Bute, with only skill and calculation to guide him; no technical assistance was permitted. Now qualified to skipper his own yacht, Dominic looks set for a future on the waves.

"We are all immensely proud of Dominic and delighted for him that he can start building a future in the field that he loves." said his father, Chris Jackson, who runs cottage letting agency, Heart of the Lakes, with his parents, Peter and Sue. "He has worked extremely hard and his qualification is an extraordinary achievement, particularly for someone so young."

"To pass this course aged 18 is very unusual. There are not many who can do it." said Cumbrae's Professional Yacht Master Instructor, Rod Smith. "The course is very intense and involves all aspects of learning, from skippering a boat, to the theoretical elements, such as navigation and meteorological testing. Dominic was an exceptional candidate and we applaud him on his achievement. Passing this aged 18, is pretty much as young as you can get!"

 

 

Published in Youth Sailing

#MarineWildlife - An "unusually large number" of Cuvier’s beaked whale strandings in western Scotland in recent weeks has baffled marine scientists, as The Scotsman reports.

Five of the rarely seen species were found washed up on Scotland's west coast in late December, a five-fold rise on the annual average.

And as Dr Conor Ryan of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust states, there are "no obvious clues as to what is causing such an obvious increase in strandings."

Recent stormy conditions may be a factor, he said, but alone they don't explain "why we are finding just one deep-diving species in such high numbers."

According to BBC Earth, Cuvier's beaked whales are the deepest diving of any large marine wildlife, plunging almost 3km into the depths in search of food, thanks to a unique physiology that allows them to withstand the crushing pressures and lack of oxygen.

It's possible that the whales may have succumbed to 'the bends' – which killed 14 beaked whales that washed up in the Canaries in 2002 – but the poor condition of the carcasses has ruled out any clues that a postmortem might provide.

The Scotsman has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Rescue - Mail Online has more on the dramatic rescue of Aran Islands fishermen from an Irish trawler that sank off Scotland's Outer Hebrides last week.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, three of the five crew were airlifted to hospital with suspected hypothermia after the Iúda Naofa began taking on water some 48 miles off Lewis in the far north-west of Scotland.

But new video from HM Coastguard shows the shocking moment as the crew escaped their trawler just before it disappeared beneath the waves in a mere 35 seconds.

Minutes beforehand, coastguard crew members had attempted to clear the water from the boat with a salvage pump but the vessel was quickly overwhelmed.

Micheál Ó Conghaíle, a deckhand on the boat skippered by his father Mairtín, describes how what was a normal fishing expedition went south after the rough waters "got the better" of their pumps.

Yet he and the rest of the crew are thankful for getting out relatively unscathed just weeks after the loss of eight crew on a cargo ship in the Pentland Firth.

Mail Online has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
Tagged under

#Rescue - Five crew on an Aran Islands fishing trawler were rescued yesterday (Tuesday 20 January) after the vessel sank off Scotland's Outer Hebrides.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the trawler Iúda Naofa began tanking on water some 48 miles off Lewis in the far north-west of Scotland.

Three of the five crew were airlifted to hospital for treatment for hypothermia while the others were evacuated to a nearby fishing boat also from the Aran Islands.

According to The Irish Times, the Iúda Naofa is owned by Mairtín Ó Conghaíle of Inis Mór.

Four of its crew are natives of the islands, the fifth being a Romanian national.

Published in Rescue

#Cemfjord - As the investigation into the grounding of a car transporter in the Solent gets under way, at the other end of the UK stormy weather has been blamed for the capsize of a cargo ship in Pentland Firth.

As The Irish Times reports, no trace of the eight crew of the Cemfjord has been found after the 83m cement carrier was spotted upturned in the waters off the far north of mainland Scotland on Saturday 3 January.

A spokesperson for the ship's owners Brise of Hamburg said the ship had sent no distress call before sailing into severe weather.

"It was a violent storm and it seems likely that the weather would have been a factor but, until we have some better idea of what happened, I can't say how much of a factor."

The same vessel was involved in a grounding incident last summer, in which its previous captain was found to be intoxicated while in charge.

Published in News Update

#SeaPower - What's been described as the world's largest planned tidal energy scheme has been given the green light by its financiers, with construction set to begin off the northern Scottish coast in the new year, as The Guardian reports.

Previously detailed last month on Afloat.ie, the MeyGen project – comprising 269 turbines on the seabed off Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland – will see onshore construction get under way next month after developers Atlantis Resources satisfied the conditions to draw down funds from The Crown Estate of Scottish Enterprise.

MeyGen aims to harness the strong currents at the Ness of Quoys in Pentland Firth to generate energy at levels "on a part with wind turbines" but hidden from view beneath the waves - with the first power from the sea to be delivered to Britain's national grid by 2016.

Published in Power From the Sea

#MarineWildlife - Two months after striking up a friendship with fellow 'dolphina-non-grata' Dusty in his travels around Ireland, 'bad boy' bottlenose Clet has moved on again - this time to the west coast of Scotland.

According to the Island News & Advertiser, Clet appeared in the Sound of Mull in the Inner Hebrides during the week - his first confirmed sighting after he was seen frolicking with Dusty in Galway Bay - making for a rare sighting of a solitary dolphin in the area.

“To our knowledge, this is the first time that Clet has been recorded in Scotland, and in fact this is the furthest north he has been recorded to date,” said Dr Conor Ryan, sightings officer with the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Pádraig Whooley of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) also hailed Clet's reappearance, saying: "The addition of Scotland after a two-month interval brings his known tally of passport stamps to five countries and counting, and shows the need for international collaboration when trying to monitor these highly mobile marine mammals.”

But Scottish dolphin-watchers be warned, as Clet may have been involved in an act of aggression towards swimmers near Galway city in early October.

The Island News & Advertiser has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Kayaking - An abandoned kayak in the fast-flowing River Braan posed something of a mystery for Perthshire locals, and prompted fears of a lost kayaker.

But as local paper The Courier reports, those concerns proved unfounded as two friends from Dublin solved the riddle of their 'ghost kayak'.

James O'Keeff told the paper how they only discovered the puzzle they'd left for locals when they spotted the story online.

Some days before, his friend John Stanley became separated from his kayak at treacherous rapids on the Braan known as 'the Splitter'.

The vessel was later located where it was too dangerous to retrieve, but somehow wires got crossed and the message didn't get to local emergency teams.

The Courier has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
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