What caught my eye: February 2024

A fishing boat with a Second World War secret
Margot Benstock (left) and Irene Weiss (right) in front of Thor
Margot Benstock (left) and Irene Weiss (right) in front of Thor

Some reading this will know why this story struck a chord with me. A 34-foot wooden fishing boat named Thor, which was used to help Jews out of Denmark during World War II, will soon be on display at the Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

After Denmark was invaded by Germany in 1940, the Danish government resisted any anti-Jewish laws. But in the fall of 1943, the Germans announced that all Danish Jews would be deported. Over the next couple of days, the Danish resistance movement, with the help Continue reading “What caught my eye: February 2024”

What caught my eye: January 2024

Ouch! Brand new superyacht crashes through door of Lürssen dry dock
Photo Credit: buten un binnen
Photo credit: buten un binnen

Things clearly went awry recently at the Lürssen shipyard in Bremen resulting in the shipbuilder unveiling project Ali Baba ahead of schedule due to an accident. A technical glitch in the dock gate was said to be the culprit as it forced water out of the dock, thereby pushing the nose of the 140m yacht into the dock curtain.

“Damage occurred to the dock door in the dry dock at the Lürssen site in Aumund, Bremen,” Lürssen said in a statement. Continue reading “What caught my eye: January 2024”

What caught my eye: December 2023

Group of five tourists takes an early bath in Venice whilst taking selfies

If you thought taking selfies was without risk, this bizarre story proves otherwise. Have you ever wondered about the dangers of taking a selfie on an unstable vessel for example? Well, here is one such incident. Fortunately, on this occasion, nobody was seriously injured, but it could have been far worse.

A group of five tourists, from China apparently, had an unscheduled trip into the cold winter waters of the Venice canal system in early Continue reading “What caught my eye: December 2023”

IIMS President raises concerns about the growing tick box culture of marine survey reporting

Marine survey reporting techniques are under the spotlight
Marine survey reporting techniques are under the spotlight

Tick box marine survey reporting is becoming far more common than it used to be. That is the view of Peter Broad, President of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS). But are tick box marine survey reports fit for purpose, or are they lazy reporting?

There are Advantages and limitations

Advantages:

1. Standardisation: They provide a standardised framework for conducting inspections, ensuring that essential aspects of a vessel are systematically checked. Continue reading “IIMS President raises concerns about the growing tick box culture of marine survey reporting”

What caught my eye: November 2023

Bragging rights up for grabs by the Chesapeake cowboys

Of all the stories I have unearthed this year, this one is one of my favourites and one of the strangest too; and please forgive me for it sounds like something that could only happen in America – a sort of rodeo with boats instead of cattle!

I understand the competitors who participate in this unusual sport are known locally as the Chesapeake cowboys, and their competition draws thousands of spectators along the shores of Maryland and Virginia each year. Apparently, a recent article in The New York Times Continue reading “What caught my eye: November 2023”

What caught my eye: October 2023

This Is It: perhaps the coolest catamaran ever built?

Well this story, or should I say photo, certainly stopped me dead in my tracks and This Is It. No, that’s actually the name of the vessel!

The Italian Sea Group and Tecnomar have partnered up to build This Is It, one of the most futuristic catamarans you are likely to see anywhere in the world today. In a press release, Giovanni Costantino, Founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group, said: “The realization of this extraordinary project challenges the ‘conventional’ perceptions, driving us to completely recreate the boundaries of aesthetic Continue reading “What caught my eye: October 2023”

What caught my eye: September 2023

Burning wind turbine caught on camera
Image credit: (Emily Metcalfe/Facebook)
Image credit: (Emily Metcalfe/Facebook)

Well here’s what would seem to be a highly unusual incident that greeted the good folk of Scorby Sands off the coast of Norfolk , UK one morning recently. The photograph was captured by a local resident. The accompanying video was graphic as the fire burned out of control.

The turbine fire in the nearshore wind farm at Scorby Sands spread smoke along the English coastline. The operator of the wind farm, Germany’s RWE, reported no one was injured, but operations were suspended for a period. The Coast Guard said there was an evacuation of personnel in the wind farm as a precaution but that no one was working on the particular tower when the fire began. Continue reading “What caught my eye: September 2023”

Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh celebrating thirty years

The Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh conference made the front page of the Chittagong daily paper
The Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh conference made the front page of the Chittagong daily paper

On Saturday 16th September 2023, I had the absolute pleasure to attend the one day conference at Hotel Agrabad, Chittagong, Bangladesh, as Guest of Honour, to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh (MSAB). An audience of more than 100 delegates from the marine surveying profession and wider local shipping industry had assembled to take part in the event. The conference was also broadcast live via Facebook. Continue reading “Marine Surveyors Association of Bangladesh celebrating thirty years”

What caught my eye: August 2023

Young teens launch model boats to circumnavigate Antarctica
The boys with their model boats. Photo credit: MacNeill Ferguson
The boys with their model boats. Photo credit: MacNeill Ferguson

They say you have to catch them young! This is such a wonderfully curious and quirky story, I simply had to bring it to your attention. Ollie Ferguson (13) and his brother Harry (11) of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, have launched replica vessels of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to circumnavigate Antarctica in what is probably a world’s first. The brothers have been inspired by the 1839-43 scientific expedition that discovered the Ross ice shelf. According to an article from The Guardian, the models, both more than 3 feet long, will follow the circumpolar current around Antarctica. The journey is more than 12,500 nautical miles and could take two or more years to complete.
According to their father, MacNeill, the boats have cameras onboard to catch pictures of penguins and whales for Harry.

Continue reading “What caught my eye: August 2023”

What caught my eye: July 2023

Ocean Race yachts attacked by orcas following spate of whale collisions

I must admit when reports of orcas attacking yachts off the coast of Spain started hitting the news headlines about 2 years ago, I and many others, found this strangely amusing, if a little far-fetched. I presumed the orcas were being playful and that this was an isolated incident or two that would soon pass.

But over time, this phenomenon has developed into something of an epidemic. It is a situation that is worrying many of those in the Continue reading “What caught my eye: July 2023”

What caught my eye: June 2023

Why has Venice’s Grand Canal turned bright green?
Photo credit: Italy's national fire brigade
Photo credit: Italy’s national fire brigade

An area of Venice’s famous Grand Canal has turned fluorescent green due to the presence of fluorescein – a chemical commonly used in underwater construction to help identify leaks, Italian authorities say. On 28 May 2023, residents of Venice took to Twitter after an area of phosphorescent green water was spotted near the Rialto Bridge in Venice. Authorities were called, and environmental agencies began investigating the source of the bright green water. Following samples of the water being taken, the Regional Agency for Environmental Continue reading “What caught my eye: June 2023”

IIMS presents two Blue Water Awards to longstanding friends

At the Conference dinner, held at Chilworth Manor, Southampton on Tuesday 6th June, IIMS chose this occasion to publicly recognise two people who have made a big contribution to Institute life, but in very different ways. Here is a transcript from Mike Schwarz’s dinner speech announcing the presentations, which were presented by Peter Broad, IIMS President.

He said, “It is now my pleasure to announce two prestigious Blue Water Awards and in doing so, I am recognizing two people who have been fundamental in underpinning the work of the Institute over many years. Both are long-standing friends and colleagues from entirely different industry sectors and backgrounds. Continue reading “IIMS presents two Blue Water Awards to longstanding friends”

Instagram Posts from the IIMS @iimsmarine