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 December as reported in the local Italian media. They refused to sit down and would not stop taking selfies and disobeyed the instructions of the gondolier. By doing so, they capsized the gondola in which they were travelling.
The local press reported that because the tourists had refused to listen to the gondolier’s orders, they consequently paid the price! One wonders what the gondolier said after this event – I don’t speak Italian and could not lip-read him!
Former wooden minesweeper in need of help
There is always an argument as to the importance of keeping older vessels afloat or not and the cost of doing so. I think it is important to preserve some heritage vessels for future generations to see and understand. Here’s a story about another vessel seemingly endangered. I understand that the former minesweeper ex-Hr.Ms. Sittard (M830) is in need of help. She is one of the last remaining Ton class minesweepers still in operational condition. However, the outer hull, built of wood, requires a serious upgrade and her owners are fundraising to help pay for the necessary work.
Sittard was built in 1956 and has been used to clear the Dutch coastal waters of mines. She was in active service in the Royal Dutch Navy until 1996, after which she was donated to the Harlingen Seacadets in 1997. She has been serving as a training ship in Harlingen ever since.
Here’s hoping for a successful outcome.
RRS Sir David Attenborough research vessel encounters the world’s largest iceberg
I must admit to being utterly fascinated by this story. How little we know about our natural world at times it seems. RRS Sir David Attenborough has recently succeeded in collecting samples of water next to the world’s largest iceberg, A23a, which has drifted off into the Weddell Sea after four decades spent aground.
A23a is gigantic and about 1,500 square miles in size. It was once part of the Antarctic ice shelf until 1986, when it split off and promptly drifted aground in the Weddell Sea. There it stayed until late last year, when it refloated and began to slowly depart the region. High winds, strong currents and a thinning base likely contributed to the resumption of its voyage.
There is some concern that if A23a arrives off South Georgia and runs aground again, its sheer size could disrupt the feeding routes used by the penguins and seals that inhabit the island.
Excavation turns up an unexpected, amazing find
Well here’s one for the budding historians amongst you. Nothing odd about turning up old relics from yesterday, but this archaeological dig revealed an extraordinary secret.
In the summer of 2023, archaeologists and a metal detectorist conducted a small survey of Herlaugshaugen at Leka in the northern part of Trøndelag County in Norway. And they uncovered something amazing. The goal was to date a burial mound only to find if it contained a large ship! Of course, the archaeologists were over the moon when they found large rivets which confirmed conclusively that this was indeed a ship burial. Their enthusiasm didn’t subside when the finds were eventually dated either.
“The mound was constructed in approximately 700 CE. This is called the Merovingian period and precedes the Viking Age. This dating is really exciting because it pushes the whole tradition of ship burials very far back in time,” said Geir Grønnesby, an archaeologist at the NTNU University Museum.
Until next month.