Please select your home edition
Edition
Mondo Travel - Americas Cup - 5785

Solar ship PlanetSolar takes security forces for Gulf of Aden crossing

by PlanetSolar/Sail-World Cruising on 17 Jan 2012
Turanor PlanetSolar berthed in Doha .. .
Turanor PlanetSolar, huge solar-powered yacht nearing the end of its global circumnavigation, is about to embark on the most dangerous section of its voyage, the pirate zone of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. Without mentioning the word 'arms' PlanetSolar have announced that they have taken on high security specialists led by no less than a former chief of the Swiss armed forces..

Currently docked at Adnec Marina in Abu Dhabi to take part as a guest of honour at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES), PlanetSolar is now actively preparing for the dangerous crossing of the Gulf of Aden under the responsibility of Christophe Keckeis, former chief of the Swiss armed forces.

After more than 25,000nm covered using solar energy only, which represents approximately the 4/5ths of its world tour, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar will be, for this next leg, under the supervision of the corps commander in active retirement Christophe Keckeis.

They anticipate that the next few weeks are going to be gruelling for the whole PlanetSolar team. 'We will not take any risk with the security of this crew achieving the first world tour using solar energy!', warns Christophe Keckeis whose main mission is to deter any pirates attack in the seas along the Arabian Peninsula. 'We will do everything to protect this vessel that is sailing under Swiss flag!.'

Christophe Keckeis stresses that, with its normal speed of 4 to 6 knots, the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is too slow. It cannot be integrated within the stream of other ships and tankers that are sailing the secured corridors at more than 18 knots.

'We were aware of the piracy risks even before our departure more than 16 months ago,' explains Raphaël Domjan, Initiator and Expedition Leader of PlanetSolar. 'We are actively preparing to going up the Red Sea for months because the danger is very real. These past weeks, the most optimistic numbers are reporting around 200 hostages; some even mention 290 persons being held captive in pirates rear bases!'

This dangerous leg should take a few weeks depending on the weather conditions. The preparation is being broken down in several phases; thoroughly spotting the area, an in-depth knowledge of the risks and inspecting the ship's security system as well as the emergency procedures which are drilled over and over again.

Importantly, in addition to the on board crew, there will be additional security specialists of the highest level. The statement from the company includes the cryptic information that 'the protection of the solar catamaran and its sailors will only be possible with the collaboration of other States and partners.'


About PlanetSolar:
PlanetSolar was initiated by the Swiss man Raphaël Domjan and its headquarters are in Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland.

The MS Tûranor PlanetSolar, built in Kiel in Germany, is a catamaran functioning solely with solar energy. It is covered with 572 m2 of photovoltaic cells.

After two years of design and construction, PlanetSolar is at the origin of numerous technological progresses, notably in the domain of the fabrication of composite materials and in the storage of the solar energy.

PlanetSolar is funded mainly by private partners, such as the Swiss watches company Candino and the German specialist in management of solar energy Immosolar, but also by public institutions such as the Swiss Confederation through Presence Switzerland.

For its world tour, PlanetSolar is turning to the weather forecasts of MétéoFrance. An innovative routing software was specifically conceived for this expedition.

Specifications of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar:
• Length: 35 m / Width: 23 m
• Height: 6.10 m / Weight: 95 t
• Solar Panels: 38'000 with 22,6% yield
• Maximum engine power: 120 kW
• Average Engine: 20 kW (26.8 HP)
• Crew: min 4 people

Abell Point Marina 660x82 MoorHenri Lloyd 50 YearsPantaenius - Worldwide Support

Related Articles

'The Ocean is Broken' - without fish, there can be no birds
The Pacific really shocked us, its lack of fish - and because there were no fish, neither were there any birds. I first noticed the lack of birds sailing Turkey's coastline.We were so used to birds when close to any coastline- coming up the Red Sea was a delight. We dropped a line when we needed another fish, found one within minutes. But it was the Pacific that really shocked us, its lack of fish - and, no fish meant no birds. Now a sailor who has just sailed from Australia to Japan tells a similar story
Posted on 23 Oct 2013
Alternative energy - being embraced by the sailing world
Within the cruising world of sailing alternative power is old news, now the racing world is catching up fast. Renewable energy is a hot and sometimes controversial topic on land, but within the sailing world wind generators are old news, and being 'independent of the grid' is taken for granted.
Posted on 27 May 2013
Royal Yacht Squadron leads the armada against windfarm plan
Royal Yacht Squadron is orchestrating a campaign against the world's largest wind farm off the south coast of England Britain's most prestigious sailing club, the Royal Yacht Squadron, is orchestrating a campaign against the largest wind farm ever planned in the world, off the south coast of England. It fears the Navitus Bay wind farm could impact on the main sailing route from the Isle of Wight to the south west, including the Fastnet Race, which starts in Cowes and finishes in Plymouth.
Posted on 9 Apr 2012
Whale Wars - Australian protesters transferred from Japanese whaler
The three Australian protestors on a Japanese vessel Shonan Maru No. 2 are being brought back to Australia. The three Australian protestors on the Japanese vessel Shonan Maru No. 2 were successfully transferred to the ACV Ocean Protector this afternoon and will be brought back to Australia.
Posted on 14 Jan 2012
SOS Ocean Racing setting up another Round Australia record attempt
Never one to sit still, SOS Ocean Racing’s founder is at it again. Ian Thomson is keen to put together another Around A Never one to sit still, SOS Ocean Racing’s founder is at it again. Ian Thomson is keen to put together another Around Australia World Record attempt.
Posted on 6 Nov 2011
Dogs join Ocean Environment Action Group
Is your dog passionate about the ocean environment? No longer does he have to bark in vain, he can be a 'Salty Dog'. Is your dog passionate about the ocean environment? If so, no longer does he have to bark in vain - Sailors for the Sea have a new category of membership - 'The Salty Dog' Membership
Posted on 18 Mar 2011
New Alliance to save whales AND sailors
Campaign group and sailors to work together for better environmental practice at sea for whales London-based campaigning organisation the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the organisation running the Global Ocean Race 2011-2012 (GOR) announce a unique partnership to seek ways to prevent collisions between whales and yachts. The partnership between a race organisation and an environmental organisation will benefit all cruising sailors, not only those who race
Posted on 15 Mar 2011
Extinction predictor 'will help protect coral reefs'
More than a third of coral reef fish species are in jeopardy of local extinction from the impacts of climate change on c More than a third of coral reef fish species are in jeopardy of local extinction from the impacts of climate change on coral reefs, a new scientific study has found.
Posted on 17 Feb 2011
SOS Ocean Racing Day 11 - Interesting would be an understatement
‘Interesting would be an understatement for last nights events.' ‘Interesting would be an understatement for last nights events.' It is day eleven into Ian Thomson's solo sailing world record attempt. Save Our Seas Ocean Racing departed Airlie Beach on the fifth of May at 10:30:20 in an effort to break the world record for sailing non-stop solo around Australia. Ian's mission is about raising awareness of what the damage plastic bags do to our environment.
Posted on 15 May 2010
Saves Our Seas Ocean Racing - Day 3
Life onboard SOS Ocean Racing has, to put it in the words of Jessica Watson, 'Become a little interesting' Life onboard SOS Ocean Racing has, to put it in the words of Jessica Watson, 'Become a little interesting' It is day three into Ian Thomson's solo sailing world record attempt. Save Our Seas Ocean Racing departed Airlie Beach on the fifth of May at 1030 in an effort to break the world record for sailing non-stop solo around Australia.
Posted on 7 May 2010