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Displaying items by tag: Deepwater Horizon

#marinepollution – New high-tech equipment that can be deployed anywhere in the UK to clean up oil spills is today being put to the test in Belfast Harbour.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has recently purchased two new pieces of equipment known as the NOFI Current Buster 6. This is the very latest in up to date technology and was developed following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response in 2010.

The latest piece of kit can operate five times faster, as the hydrodynamic shape reduces the drag force and allows the system to move more easily through the water. This model also has debris nets, wave dampers and a splash-over cover to avoid spillages. With an oily water separator it has a temporary storage capacity of 70m2.

The MCA is often called upon to deal with a wide range of pollution incidents off the UK coast and has a detailed plan of action and equipment in place to deal with such issues.

Gail Robertson, the MCA's Counter Pollution Resource Manager, said:

"The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has a thorough response procedure in place to deal with many different types of emergencies at sea that cause pollution, or threatens to cause pollution.

"Demonstrations like the one in Belfast Harbour today show how our equipment is fit for purpose. These two NOFI Current Buster 6 will enhance and boost our response capability around the whole of the UK."

Attending the demonstration, Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said:

"There have been some major oil spills at sea in recent years in other parts of the world, which caused devastating damage to the marine and coastal environment and to the wider economy in those regions. Given that the North of Ireland imports all of its oil by sea and that several major shipping routes pass close to our coast, it is not inconceivable that a serious marine oil spill could occur on or close to our coastline. It is therefore vital that we tackle such incidents with the most modern of technology. The fact that we now have equipment which is five times faster in cleaning up such serious pollution is most welcome."

Published in Coastguard

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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