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 06 Oct 2012
 


Last Monday evening 01 October at about 2020h a collision between a Hong Kong & Kowloon Ferry boat and the Lamma IV belonging to China Light & Power left 39 people dead. This is the worst marine accident in Hong Kong in 40 years, and we extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families.

Photographs in the press and on local tv show damage to the bow of the HK&K ferry, and to the port quarter of the Lamma IV. A total of seven crew from the two vessels have been arrested. Hong Kong is officially in three days' mourning, flags are flying at half mast, and the South China Morning Post has a black-band headline. Of course there are going to be huge Investigations, and probably a Commission or two, and maybe an Inquiry. In the end it has to come down to ‘human error', meaning (probably) that someone wasn't paying attention, forgot their ColRegs, and was not able to take evasive action fast enough. Those responsible should be brought to book, and steps taken to ensure that they don't operate boats in Hong Kong's busy environs, ever again.

What will happen, however, is that there will then be endless additional Commissions and Inquiries aimed at revamping the regulations about life jackets, passenger manifests, rights of way, speed limits and so on. The Commissioners and Inquirers will completely miss the point that, yes, in busy sea lanes accidents do happen (in spite of whatever regulations are already in force), and more regulations generally make for more loopholes. There will be all manner of finger-pointing – the emergency services didn't get there fast enough, the lifejackets were in the wrong place, the seats weren't bolted down securely, whatever – and they will do what Hong Kong does best these days: talk about it, consult, and prepare coloured papers of many hues. All the while generally trying to evade any chance of being held responsible for making a decision.

Now stand by and watch while the insurance companies start wriggling, the lawyers start arguing, and the authorities start discussing. It's going to be a long story, and at the end of it all marine users – both commercial and private – are going end up with a load more regulations to cope with. The fact is, life is not a risk-free enterprise, and you just can't legislate against that.




Fisher's View: Day 3 - Ainslie sparkles in America's Cup World Series
Bob Fisher,
Day 3 MR Semis and Fleetracing: Much of the talk around the bases has been not so much of the AC-45s as of the 'real' America's Cup boats, the AC-72s. The performance of the Emirates Team New Zealand 72, seen around the world on video, has drawn gasps of astonishment, particularly when seen foil-borne at close to 40 knots.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - IMOCA skippers participate in the Azimut Trophy
Vendee Globe,
Vendee Globe – From the 28th-30th September, IMOCA skippers were expected in Lorient to take part in the second edition of the Azimut Trophy (a 210-mile single-handed race) and Challenge (around Groix Island with a crew). It was the perfect change to get together 40 days before the start in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and face each other in a competition one last time before November 10.... [more]
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AC World Series San Francisco - Team BAR out in front
Lucy Harwood,
At the America's Cup World Series in San Francisco, the first day of fleet racing was dominated by J.P. Morgan Team BAR. Ben Ainslie and the team were keen to make an impression after what some may have deemed a disappointing first event back in August. It was a great performance on the water, the team dominated race one taking the win from Emirates Team New Zealand.... [more]
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Sailing boat of activists 'escorted' from Moroccon port
Sail-World Cruising round-up,
'Women on Waves', a Dutch pro-abortion group, has used a sailing boat to publicise their stance on abortion. They sailed a yacht around a port in Morocco claiming to be able to give abortions on board and demonstrating for women's rights on abortion. The trip in the harbour of the Mediterranean coastal town of Smir was the abortion rights group's first event in a Muslim country.... [more]
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International Council of Yacht Clubs Forum - best ever
ICOYC/Sail-World Cruising,
The Royal Southern Yacht Club in Southampton recently hosted senior representatives from 20 international yacht clubs together with a number of UK 'guest' clubs for the seventh International Council of Yacht Clubs (ICOYC) Forum... [more]
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DIMC season to get underway with traditional 43ft dhow sailing
DIMC,
The organisers are expecting a field of at least eighty entries for this year's season-opening Dubai Traditional Rowing Race to be held at the DIMC on Friday October 5th. The 2012-2013 season had a soft opening with the first heat of the Dubai Traditional Rowing Race last weekend (September 28).... [more]
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Argo Group Gold Cup - Quarter Final pairings decided
Talbot Wilson,
At the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup in Hamilton, Bermuda, as top qualifier in the round robin matches, Adam Minoprio (NZL) should have had first choice of opponent in the Quarter Finals. But he left the Royal Bermuda YC before the draw and his choice went to the second placed skipper, Taylor Canfield (ISV). Now the New Zealander faces the top ranked British match racer Ian Williams.... [more]
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Sinking sailor calls Mum
Nancy Knudsen,
They're pretty cool Downunder, especially in Cairns. When a sailor's yacht was sinking this week, he didn't call rescue authorities, he called Mum. I guess when your sailing ground is full of islands, you think you don't need an EPIRB. The man, who has not yet been named, merely took to his dinghy and went to the Hinchinbrook Island Wilderness Lodge for the night. But there was a problem.... [more]
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PWA Sylt World Cup - Stunning victory on day 7
Chris Yates,
Today at the PWA Sylt World Cup, there was a brief period of flukey cross-offshore wind as cooler air and wet weather hit Sylt, this didn't deter the crowds from flooding into the event area however. In the tricky racing conditions, the opening round of the third slalom elimination was completed, before the wind dropped at 13:15.... [more]
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Kiteboard Course Racing Worlds - Day 1 in Cagliari + Video
IKA,
At the Kiteboard Racing World Championship in Cagliari, competition got off to a good start. The light Scirocco breeze picked -up in the afternoon at Poetto beach, allowing three races in each of the four fleets. The competitors were divided into three male fleets and one female.... [more]
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America's Cup: War of Words erupts over Cup bases change
Richard Gladwell,
Official releases have been flying after Emirates Team NZ's skipper, Dean Barker, launched on a change to plans for team bases, called by America's Cup Events Authority. Writing on his blog at Kiwi Yachting Consultants, Barker described as a 'bombshell' the changes removing a hospitality area planned for Piers 30-32 in San Francisco to Marina Green to be closer to the racing.... [more]
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PWA Sylt World Cup Day 6 - Frustrating day on hold
Chris Yates,
The sixth day was the first without wind at the PWA Sylt World Cup and this meant that the slalom fleet spent a frustrating day on hold. Towards the end of the day, there were signs that the wind would kick in however suitable slalom conditions never developed and the day was concluded shortly after 4:30pm.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series - Images of Day 1 on San Francisco Bay
Chuck Lantz,
The first day of the latest edition of the ACWS went off without a hitch, with good winds and sunny skies. Here are a few photos of the fleet practice racing action from Chuck Lantz.... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series heads to Rio de Janeiro for the finale
Extreme Sailing Series,
The greatly anticipated finale of the 2012 Extreme Sailing Series will take place in the city of Rio de Janeiro as the Series heads West to make its South American debut, announced Series organisers OC Sport on the October 3rd at the São Paulo Boat Show alongside host venue partners BR Marinas.... [more]
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Boats faster, technology smarter, what about the sailors?
Nancy Knudsen, Editor,
.... [more]
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PWA Sylt World Cup - Epic action unfolds on day 5
Chris Yates,
On day five of the PWA Sylt World Cup, the skippers meeting took place amid a bright and breezy morning at 07:30am and the decision was made to complete the remainder of the freestyle double elimination. With flat water, perfect stunt ramps and wind of 17-25 knots, Sylt provided some of the best freestyle conditions of the year, as the freestylers busted out their biggest and most radical moves.... [more]
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PWA Sylt World Cup - Miracle needed after dramatic twist
Chris Yates,
At the 2012 PWA Sylt World Cup, having spent the opening three days of the competition on the beach, the slalom sailors were finally unleashed onto the water today as they competed in winds between 8-20 knots. Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) enjoyed an excellent day as the Frenchman won back-to-back bullets to enhance his title challenge.... [more]
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MOD70 European Tour - Foncia victorious in inaugural event
Sabina Mollart-Rogerson,
In the 2012 MOD70 European Tour, following more than 4400 miles of the five offshore racing stages and the 23 City Race series heats at four European Cities, Foncia's triumph was only secured in the final mile and 22 minutes of the course.... [more]
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ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominees announced
KPMS,
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and Rolex are ecstatic to announce the Nominees for the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2012. ISAF received nominations for the 2012 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. The nominees are put forward based on achievements made during the qualifying period of 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012.... [more]
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Climate is altering the Great Barrier Reef
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
Satellite measurement of sea surface temperatures has yielded clear proof of major changes taking place in the waters of Australia's Great Barrier Reef over the past 25 years, marine scientists have found. The changes have big implications for the future management of the GBR and its marine protected areas.... [more]
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PWA Sylt World Cup - Iballa Ruano Moreno secures victory
Chris Yates,
On Monday, day three of the 2012 PWA Sylt World Cup, the freestyle and wave sailors hit the water as the action on the water continued for a third day in a row. The morning saw relatively flat water and cross-shore winds, which transformed Sylt into a freestyle arena as the double elimination began.... [more]
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