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Displaying items by tag: Indian Ocean

#Surfing - A South African surfer has survived a terrifying ordeal after being stranded alone in shark-infested waters in the Indian Ocean.

As Channel 4 News reports, 50-year-old Brett Archibald had been with friends on an overnight boat crossing from mainland Indonesia to the surfing grounds of the Mentawai Islands when he blacked out from seasickness and fell overboard in rough weather.

Unfortunately for Archibald, his friends were either asleep or suffering from seasickness themselves below deck, and several hours passed before he was noticed missing.

In the meantime, he was stranded alone in the water, surrounded by sharks and jellyfish and attacked by seagulls.

Archibald described his 28 hours adrift at sea as "insane" and said he nearly drowned eight times, but he continued to swim and tread water while, unbeknownst to him, rescue services were being mobilised for a large-scale search operation.

Channel 4 News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#NAVAL SERVICE - Ireland could soon join the fight against Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, the Irish Independent reports.

Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd confirmed that the Department of Defence was considering sending a personnel detachment to assist the EU's naval mission in the area west of Africa.

The region has been blighted by pirate attacks on merchant vessels and pleasure cruisers for a number of years.

Most recently, as reported on Afloat.ie, the situation prompted an interruption to the Volvo Ocean Race - with the six yachts shipped on a secret route to the United Arab Emirates under armed guard.

Ireland's potential contribution to the EU's Operation Atalanta is known as an autonomous vessel protection detachment (AVPD), and would be used to protect the likes of food aid ships from the World Food Programme that sail without a naval escort.

The Irish Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Navy

#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - The second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town to Dubai has been cut short by organisers as a result of the growing threat of piracy in the Indian Ocean, The Irish Times reports.

The six yachts competing will be protected by armed guards as they are shipped on a secret route to the United Arab Emirates due to piracy concerns.

The boats will be transported by ship from an undisclosed location to Sharjah in the Arabian Gulf, from where they will sprint to the finish line in Abu Dhabi.

All six teams are currently in Cape Town, with Team Sanya, PUMA and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing hoping to get back in the race after retiring in the first leg.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, NATO recently foiled a pirate attack on a Spanish fishing vessel between the Seychelles and the Somali coast.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race
The saga of Thor Gitta's prolonged stay in Galway to load two former Aran Islands ferries bound for Mauritius, culminated with the cargoship's departure this morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
Due to a series of incidents, mishaps and delays the Thor Gitta has been at the centre of attention. Crowds of Galwegians witnessed the loading of both ferries during the past week.

First to be loaded was the Clann na nOileáin on Wednesday in an operation than took four-hours while on Friday her sister Clann Eagle I took six-hours to be winched safely onto the cargo-deck during freshening winds.

It is ironic that since Thor Gitta 's arrival to the port's Dún Aengus Dock on 5 April that it would also nearly be the same time taken for the estimated 25-day delivery voyage of the ferries to the Indian Ocean island.

During the 8,300 mile journey Thor Gitta will make several port of calls with the first call to La Rochelle. The Bay of Biscay port is the next largest port south of Les Sables d'Olonnes, where the fast-ferries where built at the OCEA boatyard for her original owners Bád Arann Teoranta which traded as Aran Direct on routes from Rossaveal to the islands.

Thor Gitta was built in 1996 and is also designed to carry 364 TEU (twenty-foot equivilant unit) containers and belongs to an-eight strong fleet operated by the Danish company, Thor Rederi A/S of Svendborg.

One of the reasons why the heavylift vessel was delayed in loading was to ensure the correct positioning of the ferries so not to further disrupt other port call cargo allocation while on the long repositioning voyage to Mauritius.

The 4,078 tonnes cargsoship is also scheduled to make en-route calls to Pointe Noir in the Congo, Cape Town and Pemba in Mozambique before finally reaching the southern Indian Ocean destination.

When the ferries were completed in 2005 and 2006 they were valued between €5-6m but they only served up to September 2008 when the 243 passenger aluminium built craft were laid-up at the Connemara harbour due to financial difficulities.

This led to the company going into receivership and the vessels were put up for auction in Galway last February. Despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction hosted by the Cork based auctioneer, Dominic J. Daly.

In the following month the fast-ferries were sold to the French owner for a new career based from the island state which is in the Mascarene Islands. Mauritius is neighboured by the smaller islands of Agalega, Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the French island of Réunion some 200km to the southwest.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The loading of the second former Aran Island ferry, Clann Eagle I onto the cargoship Thor Gitta in Galway has finally been completed today, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 4,078 tonnes vessel is scheduled to depart the mid-western port tomorrow evening on the 8,300 mile delivery voyage to Mauritius.

Despite freshening winds the 169 gross registered tonnes ferry was winched out of the waters of the port's Dún Aengus Dock. In total the operation took six-hours which saw the delicate positioning of the 27m long ferry between the ship's two deck-mounted cranes and lowered onto the cargo-deck.

Yesterday proceedings to load the ferry were suspended due to delays in relocating other cargo so to accommodate the 243 passenger capacity ferry. This followed the loading of her sister Clann na nOileáin on Wednesday.

Several previous attempts to hoist the Clann Eagle I onto the deck of the Danish-flagged vessel have been hampered. At one stage due to complications in efforts to transport the vessels, the 100m Thor Gitta was temporary detained by the admiralty marshal.

Procedures to load the 29 knots fast-ferry pair have been beset with incidents notably the grounding and subsequent damage to the first chartered cargoship, Patanal, off Rossaveal. It was originally planned to sail the ferries out into Casla Bay where the German-flagged vessel would load them onboard.

As a consequence the ferries were transferred to Galway where the Clann na nOileáin did not escape attention either. On the first attempt to load the ferry one of the ship's slings snapped from the crane-cradle causing the 172 tonnes ferry to fall into the water.

Minor damage was caused to the ferry, though three men who remained onboard at the time of the incident were taken to hospital but were later released.

Last month the ferries were sold to a French buyer after the company that owned them Bád Arann Teoranta (trading as Aran Direct) went into receivership. The ferries operated on several routes between Rossaveal to the islands but are now destined to serve on an inter-island service from the Indian Ocean island.

Published in Ports & Shipping
In the process to load two fast-ferries onboard a heavy-cargo liftship in Galway port the operation has taken on yet another setback, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Despite successfully loading the first ferry, the 172 gross tonnes ferry Clann na nOileain yesterday morning, which took four hours, the time to secure the vessel on the cargoship's deck continued much longer than anticipted.

As a consequence this led to further delays in the the clearance of existing cargo so to enable sufficient space to load the second ferry onboard the Thor Gitta.

THOR_GITTA

The 4,078 gross tonnes heavy-cargo liftship was due to have started loading the second ferry the 169 tonnes ferry Clann Eagle I yesterday afternoon but this has been delayed until 12 noon today.

The Danish-flagged Thor Gitta has been in Galway for over a fortnight. She berthed with her starboard side facing alongside the quay. With this orientation the cargoship's two-deck mounted cranes swing out on the opposite port side which were used to raise the first ferry out of the water on 7 April.

On that ocasion the forward sling snapped causing the Clann na nOileain to plunge into the waters within the port's single dock named the Dun Aengus Dock.

In recent daysThor Gitta has shifted berths which has resulted in the 100m long vessel berthing on her starboard side again next to the dock's quayside. The deck-mounted cranes on the port side continue to face out overlooking the open water of the dock.

The loading of Clann na nOileain is all the more skillfull considering that the 27m length of the ferry had to be hoisted and swung at an angle between the narrow span of the two deck mounted cranes.

For file photos of vessels in loading mode from the Rederi A/S fleet owners of the Thor Gitta click here.

Thor Gitta is the second chartered vessel called in to assist in the transportation of the two former Aran Islands fast-ferries.

The other cargoship, the longer 120 metre Patanal, ran aground at the end of March during stormy seas after dragging its anchor in Casla Bay, at the entrance to Rossaveal harbour. The 7,002 tonnes vessel sought initial repairs before leaving Galway Bay last week for further work in Germany.

The monuhull fast ferry pair were custom built in France for Bad Teoranta (trading as Aran Direct) but the company went into recievership.

At an auction held in Galway last month the vessels did not sale despite bids reaching €950,000, they were withdrawn at the auction. The ferries were later sold for a sum believed to be seven-figures to an operator based in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius.

Published in Ports & Shipping
In a third attempt to load two former Aran Islands ferries at Galway yesterday, operations took on a new twist as the cargoship chartered in to transport them was detained according to a report in todays Irish Times.
The Thor Gitta, a 4078 tonnes heavy lift cargoship was held at the port's Dun Aengus Dock as new complications arose in an effort to transport the two passenger fast-ferries Clann na nOileáin and Clann Eagle 1 which are bound for Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

Harbourmaster Capt. Brian Sheridan, confirmed yesterday evening that the Danish flagged vessel had been detained at lunchtime on the instructions of the admiralty marshal, a High Court judge, acting under maritime law. Until matters are resolved, a ship's keeper has been placed onboard by the Revenue Commissioners.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The heavy lift cargoship Thor Gitta is due to make a second attempt to load two former Aran Islands fast ferries in Galway Docks tomorrow morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.
It is envisaged that the operation to hoist the sisters, Clann Eagle I and Clann na nOileáin which each weigh 170 tonnes will be completed by tomorrow evening. The Danish flagged heavy liftship is expected to remain in port until Friday so as to make further preparations in advance of the long delivery voyage to the ferries new owners in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean.

In the first attempt to load the ferries last week, the Clann na nOileáin fell into the Dun Aengus Dock when the sling rope broke causing the French built 234-passenger craft to fall some 12m /40ft. Onboard the ferry were three people who were taken to hospital but were later released.

Thor Gitta is fitted with two deck-mounted cranes and this feature is also similarly found on the Patanal, which grounded in Casla Bay at the entrance to Rossaveal, nearly a fortnight ago. The German owned 7,002grt was the first vessel chartered to bring the fast-ferries from Rossaveal, but the ferries were subsequently sailed to Galway after the ship was refloated.

The 120m Patanal has undergone "underwater and internal inspections and repairs," according to Capt. Brian Sheridan, harbourmaster of Galway Port Company though he added "that the vessel would remain subject to an inspection by the Marine Survey Office before she can be released".

According to a statement released by the Patanal's owners, Harren & Partner, the vessel is then to be taken to dry dock in Bremerhaven for further repairs.

Since the incident the vessel has been at anchorage off Black Point on the Co. Clare side of Galway Bay where she was monitored initially for pollution and the tug Celtic Isle in attendance. The tug is operated by Celtic Tugs and is normally based in Foynes, Co. Limerick.

Published in Ports & Shipping
A 7,837 tonnes heavy cargo-liftship Pantanal which was to collect two former Aran Island fast ferries, ran aground this morning in rough seas off Rossaveal, according to RTE.ie
The Danish-owned vessel got into difficulties around 06.00 when it ran aground in Casla Bay at the entrance to the Connemara harbour. The Pantanal which has a crew of 14 are trying to establish it the 2004 built vessel can be refloated later today.

Pantanel which is equipped with two deck-mounted cranes was due to lift the 170 tonnes fast ferry sisters Clann Eagle I and Clann na nOileáin. The pair which were owned by Bád Arann Teo (trading as Aran Direct) went into receivership and were sold last month to new owners in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. For further details click  here.

The Antigua Barbuda registered vessel specialises in transporting heavy project cargo around the world. To see a photo of the vessel with boat-cargo onboard click here.

Published in Ports & Shipping
The Daily Edge reports on an Irishman who has announced plans to be the youngest man to row across the Indian Ocean - naked.
Keith Whelan, 30, intends to row the 6,000km route from Australia to Mauritius completely naked in an effort to raise money for anti-Aids charity Keep A Child Alive.
The event management consultant is taking the task completely seriously, having already trained for 18 months in preparation for the arduous task.
Whelan will be rowing in a 23-foot boat fitted with a radio, GPS, a satellite phone and computer equipment that will let him blog and tweet from the middle of the ocean.
If he completes the journey, Whelan would be the first Irishman to complete the Indian Ocean route solo - let alone in the nude.
The Daily Edge has more on the story HERE.

The Daily Edge reports on an Irishman who has announced plans to be the youngest man to row across the Indian Ocean - naked.

Keith Whelan, 30, intends to row the 6,000km route from Australia to Mauritius completely naked in an effort to raise money for anti-Aids charity Keep A Child Alive.

The event management consultant is taking the task completely seriously, having already trained for 18 months in preparation for the arduous task.

Whelan will be rowing in a 23-foot boat fitted with a radio, GPS, a satellite phone and computer equipment that will let him blog and tweet from the middle of the ocean.

If he completes the journey, Whelan would be the first Irishman to complete the Indian Ocean route solo - let alone in the nude.

The Daily Edge has more on the story HERE.

Published in Offshore
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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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