Monthly Archives: January 2015


Blackthorn (James Farrar)

They cannot have her for lover,

The lean brown southerly sprites

Who trade sweet breath for blossom

In star-pale April nights.

Though the cherry, our lady of splendour,

Exquisitely fallen from grace,

Goes forth in white for their lover

In every woodland place;

And the wind-flirt apple, too eager

For innocence when they came,

Paint the dim skies of daybreak

With her gypsy buds of shame-

They cannot have her for lover,

The ice-white wanton sloe,

For she sells her kisses to winter

Whether they come or no.

(James Farrar1943)

Sea Cadets-Captain of, succession

Dear All

I wanted to let you know that we will shortly be saying goodbye to  Captain Jonathan Holloway RN as he moves on, but I am delighted to announce that we will welcome a new Captain  with the appointment and promotion of Commander Philip Russell MA MSc CEng CMarEng FIMarEST MRINA Royal Navy as Captain Jon Holloway’s successor as Captain Sea Cadets at the rank of Captain with effect from 20 April 2015.

Captain Russell is a first class officer with a strong engineering background.  He will join us from the post of Chief Engineer for Hydrographic and Patrol vessels as part of the commercially supported shipping team in Bristol.  His naval career has included experience at sea aboard HM Ships EURYALUS, CAMPBELTOWN, JUNO and GLOUCESTER, together with periods at Navy Command Headquarters and Northwood.

Jon and I recently met with him and were impressed with his enthusiasm for and understanding of the role of CSC, which is informed hugely through his work in the Directorate Reserve Forces and Cadets in MOD between 2005 and 2008.  In short an appointment of this calibre is a further strong indication of the high regard in which this role is held by the RN.

Jon however will be a hard act to follow and continues to make a huge contribution.  We will ensure proper recognition nearer the time, with a formal handover ceremony planned at the National Drill and Piping Competition on 25 April.  I am sure you will wish to join me now in saying thank you to Jon for what he has done and will do for us through to his departure in April.

We will also be announcing the appointment to the Corps later today.

Kind regards,


Martin J Coles| Chief Executive Officer
| 202 Lambeth Road | London | SE1 7JW

T:020 7654 7002| M:07778542139| F: 020 7928 8914



Daft Joke

All quiet at the Towers ( HQ). A northwesterly is tugging  away at the fascias and rattling the windows but there’s not enough ooomph in it to cause alarm or niggle. Thankfully. Even the world of cybercomms is quiet this evening. Some stuff in from Mick ‘P’ down in Spain (the lucky sod), apparently he had to pay 2 Euros for a litre of the finest Tempranillo this afternoon and feels somewhat aggrieved by this ‘ripoff’ amount. Hmm Michael old mucker, seems you have forgotten the joys of North European tax regimes. So be it. Enjoy.



He also sent a joke. See below………………

A young blonde girl in her late teens, wanting to earn some extra money for the summer, decided to hire herself out as a “handy woman” and started canvassing a nearby well-to-do neighbourhood.

She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any odd jobs for her to do.

“Well, I guess I could use somebody to paint the porch” he said. “How much will you charge me?”

Delighted, the girl quickly responded, “How about £50?”

The man agreed and told her that the paint, brushes and everything she would need were in the garage.

The man’s wife hearing the conversation, said to her husband, 

“Does she not realise that our porch goes all the way round the house?”

“That’s a bit cynical, isn’t it?” he responded.

The wife replied, “You’re right. I guess I’m starting to believe all those dumb blonde jokes.”

A few hours later the blonde came to the door to collect her money.

“You’re finished already??” the startled husband asked.

“Yes” the blonde replied, and I even had paint left over so I gave it two coats.”

Impressed, the man reached into his pocket for the £50 and handed it to her along with a £10 tip.

“Thank you” the blonde said, “and by the way, it’s not a Porch, it’s an Audi”.

Risk assessment? Yeah, right?

Four crushed to death by falling structure at Busan shipyard.

Crushed crane.
Four workers were crushed to death by a falling structure at a shipyard in this southeastern port city Wednesday, firefighters said The operator’s cabin attached to a 40-ton crane used for shipbuilding broke away around 9:46 a.m., the Busan Fire Department in this southeastern port city said. The cabin fell about 20 meters and rolled over on its side, crushing one person inside and three people who were standing on top of it. Three of them died instantly with the remaining one being trapped under the debris for about two hours. The man was later pronounced dead, firefighters said.The victims were all in their late 50s or early 60s.
“I heard a loud bang and turned around to see that the cabin had fallen. I heard screaming and people saying someone had fallen,” one of the workers at the scene said. Police said the victims appeared to have been trying to take the crane apart to free up the space for other purposes. A total of five workers had been deployed, with four of them tasked with severing the link between the cabin and the crane. The fifth worker had stayed on the ground and survived.“It appears that they were trying to disconnect the cabin without proper safety equipment,” a police officer said.The shipyard is owned by Geochung Shipbuilding Co. It had belonged to Dae Sun Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. until last December. Police said witnesses and construction officials will be called in for questioning to determine whether proper safety procedures had been followed. Source: Yonhap Hindustan Shipyard and Hyundai

Østensjø Rederi thorax tug

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reports “good progress continues to be made” today as salvors aboard the Hoegh Osaka have reduced the vessel’s list to starboard to 25 degrees, or roughly half of what it was 19 days ago.

The agency says all water has been removed from the car decks and as ballast operations continue throughout the day, the ship will hopefully further reduce her list to 15 – 20 degrees.   At this point MAIB investigators will board the ship to gather information for their investigation and subsequently, a skeleton ship’s crew will be permitted to board the ship in preparation for its move back to Southampton Port.

The crew will attempt to restart the vessel’s emergency generator which will be used to provide power to the installed ballast pumps, the tank metering systems, lighting and the ship’s windlasses to recover the anchor and approximately 220 meters of chain which has been deployed.

Salvors will consider a multitude of factors before moving the ship from Alpha Anchorage to the port of Southampton such as the stability of the ship, the restart of the vessel’s system, tide and weather conditions.  The MCA says they are looking to reduce the list of the vessel to 5 degrees or lower before bringing it into port as anything greater than that will complicate the future offload of the cargo.

Once back in port, the salvors will being turning the vessel back over to the owners, Höegh Autoliners, over an estimated 2 to 3 day period.  This process will include discussions with the vessel’s insurers as well as the port of Southampton.  Subsequent to that, the cargo offload will commence.

The MCA expects the tow from Alpha Anchorage to Southampton to take four hours and involve the use of four tugs, the Salvage Master, the ship’s captain and two pilots.  The actual timing of the tow is dependent on the weather over the next few days, once the list is reduced.

Oil still falling; bring it on.


From Bloomberg via gCaptain

(Bloomberg) — Oil traded below $47 a barrel as forecasts for rising U.S. crude stockpiles bolstered speculation that a global glut that spurred a price collapse may persist.

Futures were little changed in New York. Crude supplies in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, probably expanded by 2.4 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before government data on Jan. 22. Current prices should slow the nation’s output growth in the second half of the year, Pulitzer Prize-winning oil historian Daniel Yergin said.

Oil slumped almost 50 percent last year as the U.S. pumped crude at the fastest rate in more than three decades and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to curb supply. BHP Billiton Ltd. will cut the number of active drill rigs in the U.S. by about 40 percent amid the price drop.

West Texas Intermediate for March delivery was at $46.78 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 31 cents at 11:12 a.m. Sydney time. The February contract expired on Jan. 20 after falling $2.30 to $46.39. The volume of all futures traded was about 84 percent above the 100- day average.

Brent for March settlement slid 85 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $47.99 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Tuesday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $1.52 to WTI for the same month.

Copyright 2015 Bloomberg.

From G Captain, thanks chaps.

Photo courtesy UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency

If all goes according to plan the Hoegh Osaka car carrier could be moved to the port of Southampton as early as Wednesday, nearly three weeks after the ship was intentionally beached on the Bramble Bank in the Solent.

Over the weekend, the ship remained stable at the Alpha Anchorage as a much needed break in the weather allowed salvors to pump water from the vessel and continue ballasting operations, reducing the list to 47 degrees. Divers meanwhile were in the water carrying out inspections of the ship’s hull, determining that there is no significant damage.

On Sunday, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Intervention and Salvage (SOSREP) was at the site to witness the ongoing salvage operations, which are said to be “progressing well” according to the UK Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA).

Pumpin operations. Photo courtesy MCA

According to Monday’s update from the MCA, de-watering operations finished at 11:30 Monday and preparations were underway to begin pumping water remaining in the car decks into the empty fuel tanks of the ship. As was reported previously, an estimated 3,000 tons of water entered the vessel through a crack in hull and an oily film, reported to be hydraulic fluid from the cars, had developed on the surface. The plan was to pump the clean water from the bottom in order to avoid the contaminated water. The update on Monday added that the list was expected to improve slowly “over the coming hours”.

Weather conditions are expected to remain favorable over the coming days, and salvors plan to move the Hoegh Osaka to the port of Southampton later this week, possibly as soon as late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Photo courtesy MCA

The Hoegh Osaka, carrying some 1,400 cars, was intentionally grounded on the Bramble Bank in the Solent on Saturday, January 3 after the ship developed a severe list shortly after departure from Southampton. The ship self-refloated in high water and strong winds on January 7 and has since been held in position by tugs at the nearby Alpha Anchorage. Strong winds have played a critical role throughout the entire salvage project, however the ship has remained stable and no pollution has been reported.

The ongoing salvage is being managed by Svitzer.

Solent car-carrier, ongoing.

Where’s my Land Rover got to?

Stricken Solent ship: ‘Hoegh Osaka’ water pumping begins

Hoegh Osaka on 14 JanuarySome of the ship’s cargo of cars and construction equipment is under water.

Work to pump about 3,000 tonnes of excess water from the stricken cargo ship Hoegh Osaka has begun.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said the operation to pump water from the vessel’s lower car deck started at 11:00 GMT.

It said divers found “no significant damage” to the hull of the ship, which is being secured by tugs off Lee-on-the-Solent, during Friday’s inspection.

The list of the vessel has been reduced to 48 degrees, the agency said.

The 51,000-tonne ship, carrying 1,400 cars and 105 pieces of construction equipment, was beached deliberately on Bramble Bank sandbank on 3 January after it began listing as it left Southampton.

It floated free from the sandbank on the high tide on 7 January and was towed to deeper water where it remains.

Map of Hoegh Osaka movements

On 11 January one of the tugs helping to keep the ship in place collided with the Singapore-registered transporter in high winds.

Aerial shot of listing Hoegh OsakaThe ship ran aground 50 minutes after setting sail from Southampton

You can take the design out of China but …………………………………………….

This from the BBC this morning, as a former tug master this story fills the editor at with sadness. Deep deep sadness.
China boat capsize on Yangtze river kills 22
Rescue attempt with overturned Wanshenzhou 67 in Yangtze River, 16 Jan 2015The Wanshenzhou 67 capsized during a test voyage

Related Stories

Twenty-two people have been confirmed dead after a tugboat capsized on the Yangtze river in eastern China, state media report.

The boat, with 25 people on board, overturned on Thursday while it was conducting tests near Zhangjiagang, in Jiangsu province.

Eight foreigners were among those on board, including Singaporean, Indian, Malaysian and Japanese nationals.

Three people have been rescued, and the boat has been hauled out of the water.

The foreigners on board were four Singaporeans, one Malaysian, one Indonesian, one Indian and one Japanese, state-run news agency Xinhua reported.

The three people rescued were all Chinese, Xinhua added.

Flooded ‘within seconds’


The tugboat, the 30-metre (98-foot) long Wanshenzhou 67, was undergoing tests, with the ship’s owner and a team of engineers on board.

The Wanshenzhou 67 was registered in Singapore.

One survivor who was rescued early on Friday, Wang Chenhua, said they had been taking the vessel for a trial voyage.

Mr Wang, who was in the cockpit with a 60-year-old Japanese engineer acting as his translator, said that soon after they had conducted a load test for the boat’s main engine, the boat “suddenly turned over” to the left.

He said water rushed into the cockpit which was fully flooded “within 20 seconds”. He survived by holding onto a hydraulic pump that was not submerged.

Mr Wang added that he had tried to hold on to the Japanese engineer, but they were separated as the boat sank further.

The boat was constructed in China’s Anhui province last October. Local officials told Xinhua the boat had not properly reported its route and work plans to the port authorities.

Rescuers approach the lifted wreckage of capsized tug boat "Wanshenzhou 67" on the Yangtze River near Jingjiang, east China's Jiangsu Province, 17 January 2015The boat was lifted out of the water on Saturday