Monday, 30 January 2012

ATLANTIC ODYSSEY CHALLENGE ROWERS IN CAPSIZE DRAMA

Falmouth Coastguard are currently assisting with coordinating the rescue of one Irish and five UK nationals on board the ocean rowing boat ‘Sara G’ which capsized earlier today during their ‘Atlantic Odyssey’ challenge.

The alarm was raised when their EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) was activated at 11.00 this morning to signal a distress call.  Falmouth Coastguard received the details of the beacon (including the vessel name, passage and shore contact) and informed the contact of the incident, who told Falmouth Coastguard that she had spoken to a member of the crew earlier this morning and that all had been well. 

With the last known position of the boat 520 nautical miles east of Barbados, Falmouth Coastguard contacted several coordinating authorities who may have been able to contact vessels in the area, eventually speaking to their counterparts in Fort-De-France, Martinique, who were able to contact two merchant vessels who agreed to proceed to investigate.  The crew of the vessel were 27 days into a challenge to row from Morocco to Barbados.

Meanwhile, the shore contact for the Sara G managed to get through to the crew of the boat via satellite phone and ascertained that the boat had capsized and they had abandoned to the liferaft, which was tethered to the capsized vessel.  All crew are said to be safe and well.


The Nord Taipei, a Panamanian flagged cargo ship, is en route to the vessel with an ETA of 1.00 am tomorrow (Tuesday) and a further vessel, the Naparima is also proceeding with an ETA of 4.30am.

Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager Terry Collins said:

“The activation of a distress radio beacon always requires thorough investigation and potentially the tasking of Search and Rescue resources to people in danger at sea anywhere in the world.  In this case, the beacon associated with the ‘Sara G’ has been activated due to their vessel capsizing, and we are pleased to have been able to assist in sending resources to their rescue.”

Saturday, 21 January 2012

COASTGUARDS HEAD INLAND FOR CLIFF RESCUE

Coastguard cliff rescue teams were sent inland this afternoon to recover a man from a deep wooded gorge on the River North Esk near Edzell in Scotland.

Forth Coastguard was contacted at by Tayside Police and Montrose Fire and Rescue Service to request help in recovering a man who had gone into the water after his dog.  He had managed to make it to shore but was trapped at the bottom of a gorge near Gannochy Bridge.  

Forth Coastguard sent cliff rescue teams from Montrose and Stonehaven and they recovered the man from the water’s edge up the cliff where he was checked over by ambulance crew.  Fortunately he was cold but uninjured.  The dog will require veterinary treatment but was recovered from the water.

Forth Coastguard Watch Manager said,

“Don’t put yourself at risk by attempting a rescue.  The water is especially cold at this time of the year which only adds to the dangers of going in after an animal or another person.  Dog walkers should keep dogs on a lead near cliffs and deep water”



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 Notes to Editors

  1. The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities.  Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector. www.seavisionuk.org

  1. Stay safe - before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch

  1. Follow us on Twitter. Find us at MCA_media

LONG RANGE HELICOPTER MISSION FROM STORNOWAY

Stornoway Coastguard rescue helicopter is on route to rescue a severely injured fisherman from a vessel 230 miles offshore.

Weather conditions today were strong winds of force 9 and occasionally up to Storm Force 10 and at , Stornoway Coastguard was contacted by the Spanish Coastguard to request help in evacuating a crewman on board the UK registered fishing vessel Mar Blanco.  The man had suffered severe head injuries in a fall and requires urgent hospital treatment.

Stornoway Coastguard rescue helicopter is on its way to the vessel, which is now heading towards Stornoway in order to bring the vessel into helicopter range by the time the aircraft can rendezvous later this afternoon.  A Spanish translator has helped to relay clear instructions to the fishing vessel for the operation because it will be necessary to undertake a high line transfer from the fishing vessel to the rescue helicopter.  Close coordination between the vessel and aircraft is essential during a high line transfer.

Initially safety cover for the helicopter was to be provided by the Coastguard surveillance aircraft but this had to turn back due to icing problems. The rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth will now provide this safety cover for the Coastguard rescue helicopter during the operation.  

The intention is to transfer the injured crewman to the Coastguard rescue helicopter and transfer him to hospital in Stornoway.

Stornoway Coastguard Watch Manager Murdo Macaulay said

“In this weather and at this range it is vital that the helicopter is able to rendezvous with the vessel and evacuate the injured crewman with as little delay as possible. This operation has required close co-operation by many different partners in the search and rescue framework.”



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 Notes to Editors

  1. The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities.  Sea Vision promotes the importance and economic value of the sector and works to highlight the exciting range of activities and career opportunities available to young people within the UK growing maritime sector. www.seavisionuk.org

  1. Stay safe - before heading out on the water get trained, check weather and tides, wear a lifejacket, avoid alcohol and keep in touch

  1. Follow us on Twitter. Find us at MCA_media

Sunday, 15 January 2012

DON’T JUMP IN – WHATEVER THE CIRCUMSTANCES

A dog walk nearly ended in a double tragedy today when an owner jumped into rough seas in an attempt to rescue his six month old puppy.

It’s believed that the six month-old Springer Spaniel puppy jumped over the sea wall at Dawlish. The owner then tried to rescue the puppy by jumping after it into the water. Luckily a quick thinking member of the public threw a life ring to the owner who was then pulled out of water.

Brixham Coastguard Watch Manager Matt Thornhill said:

“We’re reading wind speeds of Force 6 –7 and so the sea is very rough. At this time of year the sea is also very cold so it’s a really bad idea to try and rescue a dog from the water yourself. If you do attempt a rescue there is a chance that you will be swept out to sea or get overwhelmed by the cold, rough seas.

“Sadly, in this case, the dog did not survive but in many cases dogs do return to shore alive whilst some owners do not. Don’t jump in, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Notes to Editors

  1. Follow us on Twitter. Find us at MCA_media

Friday, 13 January 2012

MISSING CREWMAN FROM FISHING VESSEL.

Press Notice No: 009-12                                                                  13 November, 2012
At 02.29 am, Holyhead coastguard received a call from a fishing vessel to report one of their crew missing, he had been last seen onboard 1.2 miles west of South Stack.
A mayday relay was broadcast by Holyhead Coastguard to alert other vessels in the area and RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch from Holyhead, Porthdinllaen,  and Trearddur. A rescue helicopter was also scrambled from RAF Valley. Other fishing vessels in the area are also assisting in the search.
The fishing vessel had departed Holyhead at 11.25 pm and the crewman was last seen at 00.45 am, the vessel alerted Holyhead after finding the man missing at 02.29 am.
Holyhead Coastguard has coordinated the fishing vessels, lifeboats and helicopter in a search in Caernarfon Bay covering an area of fifty square miles.
Jim Green, Watch Manager, Holyhead Coastguard said:
Every effort has been made to try and locate this missing crewman.
The weather in the area is North Westerly F4 with a calm sea and slight swell, the water temperature is eight degrees.
He was not wearing a lifejacket.
We strongly recommend that all fishermen should wear lifejackets whilst operating on fishing vessels.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

MISSING DIVER FOUND ASHORE

Press Notice No: 008-12                                                                  11 November, 2012
At 16.12 pm, Clyde coastguard received a distress call from a vessel to report one of their divers missing in the North End of the Sound of Mull.
Coastguard rescue teams from Tobermory and Falen and Kilchoan, have been called out, Tobermory RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch and the Coastguard rescue helicopter has been scrambled. Other vessels in the area also assisted in the search.
The diver was last seen entering the water at 02.45 pm, but had failed to surface.
The diver had gone missing from FV Atlantia UL62.
At 18.45 the diver was spotted ashore at MaCleans Nose, by the crew of the fishing vessel Atlantia who were assisting in the search. The Coastguard rescue helicopter winched him into the aircraft and took him to Oban Hospital.
John Griffiths, Clyde Coastguard said:
The missing diver had managed to make shore and fortunately was spotted by one of the searching boats.
It is recommended that divers whether diving for leisure or commercial carry a waterproof flare pack or surface marker bouy to alert others in the event of a distress situation.
Plan the dive, and dive the plan.

SEARCH FOR MISSING DIVER

Press Notice No: 007-12                                                                  11 November, 2012
At 16.12 pm, Clyde coastguard received a distress call from a vessel to report one of their divers missing in the North End of the Sound of Mull.
Coastguard rescue teams from Tobermory and Falen and Kilchoan, have been called out, Tobermory RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch and the Coastguard rescue helicopter has been scrambled. Other vessels in the area are also assisting in the search.
The diver was last seen entering the water at 02.45 pm, but has failed to surface.
A search for the man is underway.
John Griffiths, Clyde Coastguard said:
We are doing everything we can to try and locate this missing diver.  We have a lifeboat and other vessels searching at sea, and the helicopter is undertaking a search from the air, as well as our Coastguard rescue teams searching from the shoreline.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

FOUR RESCUED FROM SINKING KAYAK

Father and son have been rescued from the sea after their kayak sunk off Plymouth this afternoon.

Brixham Coastguard received a call at 1:18pm from a member of the public who had been out walking on the cliff tops at Wembury Point when he heard cries for help from people in the water.

Coastguard Rescue officers from Plymouth were sent to the scene and the RNLI inshore and all weather lifeboats from Plymouth were requested to launch. The Rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor was scrambled, but later stood down. Also requested on scene was the South West Ambulance.

Matt Thornhill, Watch Officer, Brixham Coastguard said:

“We understand that there were up to four people in a Canadian kayak, which has now sunk off Wembury Point. All are now safe after being rescued by the inshore lifeboat and taken to land. Two of the four, a father and son have been taken to Derriford Hospital.

It was very fortunate that a member of the public heard their cries for help, as they had been in the water for approximately forty minutes. All four casualties were wearing buoyancy aides but had no means of contacting anyone or raising the alarm and were inappropriately dressed for the weather conditions on scene, which were force 3 with a sea temperature of 9 degrees Celsius. Had they been in the water any longer according to our data there was a 50% chance of survival.

We cannot stress how important it is to be properly prepared when out on the water. To keep safe follow our five key safety messages:

·         Get trained
·         Check the weather and tides
·         Wear a lifejacket
·         Avoid alcohol
·         Keep in touch.

For more information visit www.dft.co.uk/mca Leisure and the Seaside to learn how you can stay safe on the coast.”
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Notes to Editors:


                                                                                                                     
           Follow us on Twitter. We can be found at  MCA_media

           The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities  www.seavisionuk.org

                                                                          

For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Duty Press Officer
Office hours: 023 8032 9401
Mobile: 07764 624 505
Press releases and further information about the Agency is available on the Web at www.dft.gov.uk/mca

MAN OVERBOARD FROM FRENCH TRAWLER FISHING OFF ISLE OF LEWIS

Stornoway Coastguard coordinated the search and rescue of a man overboard from a French fishing vessel in the early hours of Sunday morning off the Isle of Lewis.

The French fishing vessel Jean Claude Coulon II reported to the Coastguard a man overboard at 2:06 am in an approximate position of 50 miles north west off the Butt of Lewis.

The Coastguard Rescue helicopter was scrambled and Coastguard Rescue officers from Stornoway have been assisting. Communications were conducted with the assistance of the French Coastguard at CROSS Gris Nez.

Carol Collins, Watch Manager Stornoway Coastguard said:

“The fisherman was recovered by the crew of the fishing vessel. The vessel then made its way to Stornoway Harbour where it was met by the appropriate authorities. The casualty has been pronounced deceased by a medic on scene.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:


                                                                                                                     
           Follow us on Twitter. We can be found at  MCA_media

           The MCA is a partner in the Sea Vision UK campaign to raise awareness and understanding of the sea and maritime activities  www.seavisionuk.org

                                                                          

For further details contact:
The Maritime & Coastguard Agency Duty Press Officer
Office hours: 023 8032 9401
Mobile: 07764 624 505
Press releases and further information about the Agency is available on the Web at www.dft.gov.uk/mca

Saturday, 7 January 2012

SUCCESSFUL SHIP TO SHIP TRANSFER FROM VESSEL GENMAR COMPANION

The successful transfer of 54,305 tonnes of vacuum gas oil from the vessel Genmar Companion to the BW Seine in Belfast Lough is now complete.

Friday, 6 January 2012

UPDATE: GENMAR COMPANION, BELFAST LOUGH

After delays due to bad weather, the operation to remove 54,304 tonnes of Vacuum Gas Oil from the merchant vessel Genmar Companion is expected commence imminently (6th January).

Both ships are currently being manoeuvred together by tugs and are being held side- by-side 1.5miles out in Belfast Lough. The cargo is transferred from one to the other using specialist equipment.

The operation to berth, make lines secure and conduct final checks will take several hours before the actual transfer of the oil begins.

The operation to offload the cargo to the tanker BW Seine is expected to take between 24 and 36 hours. For the duration of the operation there will be a one- mile exclusion zone around the Genmar Companion and BW Seine to give the tugs a safe working area.

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Notes to Editors

The Genmar Companion has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands at the entrance to Belfast Lough since 16 December. It was 40 miles west of Tory Island, Co. Donegal, on its journey from Rotterdam to New York, when the Master reported a crack on its upper deck. This crack did not appear to extend to any of the oil cargo holding structures but, as a precautionary measure, the vessel’s Master chose to seek both shelter and advice before continuing passage.

The Bermudan-flagged product tanker made its way to the Lough to enable surveyors to inspect the ship. The inspection, by the owners, a representative of the classification society (American Bureau of Shipping) and the MCA took place on 18 December.

Following this inspection all parties agreed that, as a precautionary measure, the cargo should be removed and the ship repaired. As there are no shore reception facilities at Belfast Harbour for a tanker of this size the only option is to transfer the cargo to another vessel (known as Ship To Ship Transfer).


Tuesday, 3 January 2012

ROWER RESCUED IN GALE FORCE WINDS

002-12                       3 January, 2012

Coastguards coordinate rescue of rower in Portsmouth Harbour in
hazardous weather conditions.

At 11:26am a member of a local Sailing Club in Portsmouth Harbour
informed the Coastguard at Lee on the Solent of a person in a small dark
dinghy rowing against the wind. They had lost sight of the dinghy and
were concerned for the welfare of the rower in light of the appalling
weather conditions they were experiencing.

Coastguards at Lee on the Solent requested assistance from the
Queen’s Harbour Master at the Portsmouth Naval Base, who tasked an
MOD police launch and police RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). Solent
Coastguard also scrambled the local Coastguard rescue helicopter to the
scene.

David Williams, Watch Manager at Solent Coastguard, said:
“We were very concerned for the welfare of this rower - the weather
conditions on scene were appalling with wind speeds up to 66 knots
(which is Violent Storm Force 11 gusting to Hurricane Force 12 on the
Beaufort wind scale) and driving rain.

The rower was located on the mud by the police RIB; his overturned
dinghy nearby. He was then taken by Coastguard rescue helicopter to
Queen Alexandra Hospital, suffering from hypothermia. We believe he is
now stable.

We now know that this rower was in transit to or from his yacht in his
dinghy. This is often a hazardous task and not something that we would
recommend in such harsh weather conditions. His lifejacket will have
contributed to saving his life by allowing him to get to the sandbank
where he was then found. “

RESCUE UNITS CALLED TO YACHT OFF DEAL IN 50 KNOT WINDS

Press Notice:001-12                                                              3 January 2012

At 05.11 am, the skipper of a forty foot yacht made an urgency call reporting that they were having difficulty. The yacht Liquid Vortex with seven crew on board, has five crew suffering with sea sickness and one crewman has sustained possible injury to his jaw and ribs after sustaining a fall on the yacht. Dover Coastguard called out Coastguard rescue teams from Margate. RNLI lifeboats from Dungeness and Dover have been requested to launch and a rescue helicopter has also been requested. The vessel is on passage from Southampton to London. Spike Hughes, from Dover Coastguard said: The skipper of the yacht called Dover Coastguard to request assistance after one of his crew had sustained possible injuries. The weather conditions at this time are 50 knot winds and swells of 3-5 metres.

Monday, 2 January 2012

SHIP TO SHIP TRANSFER FROM GENMAR COMPANION SCHEDULED FOR THIS AFTERNOON

Update: This operation has been aborted due to poor weather on scene and forecast.  The situation will be reviewed tomorrow.

After delays due to bad weather, the operation to remove 54,304 tonnes of Vacuum Gas Oil from the merchant vessel Genmar Companion is now scheduled to commence later today (2nd January).  The offload tanker BW Seine has now arrived on scene and is anchored close to the Genmar Companion in Belfast Lough.

The Genmar Companion has been sheltering off the Copeland Islands at the entrance to Belfast Lough since 16 December. It was 40 miles west of Tory Island, Co. Donegal, on its journey from Rotterdam to New York, when the Master reported a crack on its upper deck. This crack did not appear to extend to any of the oil cargo holding structures but, as a precautionary measure, the vessel’s Master chose to seek both shelter and advice before continuing passage.

The Bermudan-flagged product tanker made its way to the Lough to enable surveyors to inspect the ship. The inspection, by the owners, a representative of the classification society (American Bureau of Shipping) and the MCA took place on 18 December.

Following this inspection all parties agreed that, as a precautionary measure, the cargo should be removed and the ship repaired. As there are no shore reception facilities at Belfast Harbour for a tanker of this size the only option is to transfer the cargo to another vessel (known as Ship To Ship Transfer).

Hugh Shaw, The Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention said:

“The Ship to Ship transfer operation was originally scheduled to commence on the 31 December, but was delayed primarily due to poor weather conditions experienced by BW SEINE en route from Sweden to Northern Ireland. It is also essential that the operation does not impact on the day to day operations of Belfast Harbour.
Subject to availability of tugs, and providing conditions are suitable, both vessels will be placed alongside each other later today and the actual oil transfer will commence shortly thereafter.

This ship to ship transfer will be carried out by Fendercare Marine and the process is expected to take approximately 24-36 hours.

On completion of the operation the Genmar Companion will enter Belfast Harbour for repairs.”

Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, said:

“I have been advised that the transfer operation will be started later today, weather permitting.  Over the period of this incident, I have been actively seeking reassurances that there is no threat to our marine environment.  It is good to see that the plan is now coming together, despite the weather over the last few days.  I am continuing to keep a close eye on all the developments.  My officials are working closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and are keeping me fully briefed.”

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