tragic deaths of cruising sailors who Blue Water Rally says split from the rally...Innovation awards announced...upgrade your sailing skills...and more...

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 24 Feb 2011
 


Cruising sailors of the world mourn..

Map showing the course of the incident  .
Without doubt this is the most reluctant editorial I have ever written, one during which I know that all Australian cruising sailors who set off to enjoy their sailing, be it for a day, a month or ten years, will be mourning the deaths of four of our American friends who have come to an untimely – and unexpected – death at the hands of Somali pirates.

- unexpected, because we all thought they just wanted ransom.


The broad facts are clear. Nineteen pirates were aboard the Quest with the crew - Scott Adam, his wife Jean, of Orange County, California; and Phyllis Mackay and Bob Riggle, of Seattle, Washington – when they were being forced to sail from the point of their seajacking – 190 nautical miles southeast of Masirah Island in Oman - to Somalia. Four U.S. Navy warships were trailing them: USS Enterprise, an aircraft carrier; Guided Missile Cruiser Leyte Gulf; and Guided Missile Destroyers Sterett and Buckley.

Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle both of Seattle  .. .
Two pirates came on board the Sterett to negotiate, and remained overnight. The next morning at around 8.00am a rocket propelled grenade was fired at the Sterett, and small arms fire was heard immediately afterwards from the yacht. Following that 13 pirates moved onto the bow with their hands up in surrender. SEALs sped to the yacht, finding four pirates below decks, two of them dead. They killed the other two, one with a gunshot, one with a knife. The four American sailors had already been shot. Two were already dead, and first aid was administered to the two who were still alive. They died shortly after.

These are the facts, but two major questions remain.

Question 1 is about the pirates's actions. The facts seem to indicate that there was an altercation between the pirates. So was this a cold-blooded killing of the four cruising sailors, perhaps by
Jean and Scott Adams of Orange County California  .. .
instruction from ashore? Or was it an act of panic by twitchy pirates because they were being followed by the four American ships? The difference IS important, because if it is the former it raises the general state of piracy in the area to a whole new level. Published ad hoc pirate statements after the incident can be discounted as normal 'gung-ho' responses, from pirates unassociated with the incident. It also raises questions about the fate of South African cruising sailors Deborah Calitz and Bruno Pelizzari, still in the hands of Somalis in Somalia.

Question 2 concerns the Quest: Why did the crew of the Quest, confirmed to be unarmed, and having specifically joined a rally in order to take them through the pirate zone, suddenly depart the rally? According to Peter Seymour of the Blue Water Rally, the Quest decided to split from the rally on 15th February. According to friends of the Adams, why they would do this is a mystery, yet to be answered.

Sail-World Cruising joins the rest of Australian cruising sailors and the rest of the cruising world in mourning for the lost sailors, the first such deadly incident in the long sordid history of piracy in waters surrounding Somalia.


Nancy Knudsen, Editor



Sailors' shooting deaths - Yachting community grieves as pirates exult
Nancy Knudsen,
The yachting community world wide has been horrified and appalled by the fatal shooting of four cruising sailors in the Indian Ocean this week. According to TTT Rally leader, Rene Tiemessen, whose rally had been turned down by the European navies for an escort, there are still around 100 yachts attempting the crossing. 'It's not over yet,' he commented by satellite to me after the tragedy.... [more]
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Grave fears for missing yacht Berserk in Antarctica – EPIRB stops
Nancy Knudsen,
Grave fears are now held for the crew of three – Norwegians and possibly one British sailor - on expedition yacht Berserk, skippered by Norwegian professional sailor Jarle Andhoey, who has been skippering the 14metre 25 ton steel yacht for many years. Their distress beacon, set off on 22nd February, has stopped working.... [more]
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Simrad Yachting scores NMMA innovation award
Sandman PR,
Simrad Yachting has received the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovation Award. Awarded in the consumer electronics category, Simrad's BSM-2 Broadband Sounder module delivers the most detailed mid-water definition and penetrates the deepest waters on the planet to take sonar technology to a whole new level.... [more]
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Pirates kill four Americans aboard hijacked yacht
Sail-world.com,
The U.S. Central Command issued a statement today that four American sailors have been killed by Somali pirates aboard their hijacked yacht, the SV Quest in the Indian Ocean.... [more]
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GME heralds the amazing G-Com marine VHF handheld radio
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B&G Zeus wins 2011 NMMA Innovation Award
Rushton Gregory Communications,
B&G, the world leader in marine instruments, autopilot systems and tactical software solutions for sailing enthusiasts, has been honoured for its powerful new multifunction navigation display, Zeus, winning the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovation Award at the 70th Annual Miami International Boat Show.... [more]
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Variety Splash - Brady, Spida and Wilbur set to sail for a good cause
Portia Dixon,
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NSW Maritime - Sydney Harbour safety for Queens Visit
Neil Patchett,
NSW Maritime - Special event boating traffic controls will be in place when the sister ships Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth visit Sydney over 22-23 February, according to Chief Executive Steve Dunn.... [more]
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London Insurers form a private pirate-fighting fleet
Neptune Maritime Security/Sail-World,
Insurers in the City of London are finalising plans to set up a private fleet of armed patrol boats in the Gulf of Aden, in a new drive to stamp out Somali piracy, but there's no indication that cruising yachts will be included or able to insure as a result of the plan.... [more]
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Scientific expedition ship starts a new journey
Dorie Cox, The Triton,
The ocean and its environment is always important to those who spend time on the water, and studying them is more and more occupying the minds of scientists in order to map what is happening to our planet as well as monitoring the sealife. Dorie Cox of www.thetriton.com!The_Triton, writes of another worthy example... [more]
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Solar powered yacht: 146 days and heading for Brisbane
Nancy Knudsen,
Last September a very large solar solar-powered yacht called Planet Solar set out from Monaco, aiming to be the first to circumnavigate the globe in a 'solar' boat, powered only by solar energy. It planned that it would take around 160 days to circle the planet, but they must be enjoying the trip, because 146 days later they have just left Galapagos heading across the Pacific for Brisbane.... [more]
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Acid oceans demand greater reef care
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
The more humanity acidifies and warms the world's oceans with carbon emissions, the harder we will have to work to save our coral reefs. Modelling by a team led by Dr Ken Anthony has found that reefs already overfished and affected by land runoff are likely to be more vulnerable to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere caused by the burning of fossil fuels.... [more]
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2011 Innovation Awards - just announced
Sail-World Cruising,
No matter what country you live in, when the Miami International Boat Show comes around each year it's interesting to see who has won the USA's National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Awards. As with European awards, the judges were journalists, members of Boating Writers International.... [more]
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U.S. considers military action after pirate seajacking
Nancy Knudsen,
As the seajacked yacht Quest with four Americans on board heads for the Somali coastline, U.S. military officials said they are considering a response, are 'prepared to intervene'. The yacht belongs to Jean and Scott Adam, from Orange County in California, who were on a worldwide voyage, and had already been using their yacht Quest as their home for seven years.... [more]
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Yacht pirate Seajack:'Wake up and see' convoy leader tells politicians
Nancy Knudsen,
Rene Tiemessen, leader of one of the convoys consisting mostly of American and European yachts attempting to reach their home countries from Asia hopes the latest hijacking will cause 'all politicians to wake up and see what has become of their doing nothing to protect us.'... [more]
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New sailing app for iPhone: Come Sailing 1.0
John Conrader/Sail-World Cruising,
Come Sailing 1.0, an app designed for sailboat owners and bareboat charterers, is now docked at the iPhone App Store. The Come Sailing app is a sailor's assistant providing nautical information, checklists, a hull speed calculator, and a sailing log book... [more]
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Blue Water Rally Yacht and four crew seajacked in the Indian Ocean
Nancy Knudsen,
Pictured cruising sailors had left the rally they were travelling with and are now in the hands of Somali pirates. Ecoterra, long time piracy watch and environmental organisation, has reported that a yacht was seajacked by pirates on the 18th February, 282 nautical miles south east of Sur in Oman.... [more]
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Marine Rescue Batemans Bay Taree Launch of new vessel
Ken McManus,
Marine Rescue Batemans Bay - Commissioner Glenn Finniss of Marine Rescue NSW, will join Marine Rescue volunteers, including Board members and representatives from Batemans Bay unit on Tuesday 22nd February at Steber International in Taree for the launch of their new rescue vessel.... [more]
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Yachtshare Open Day launches new catamaran
Imprint Media,
Syndicated yacht ownership pioneer Yachtshare will hold an Open Day at the Wynnum Manly Yacht Club Marina on March 6 to introduce boating enthusiasts to its new Seawind catamaran.... [more]
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Pirate given 34 years jail - but will it deter?
Nancy Knudsen,
It won't make any difference this year to the convoy of yachts - estimated to be around a hundred - who are stranded on the wrong side of the Indian Ocean, but one can't help wondering if the 34 year sentence handed down to a Somali pirate will act as a deterrent to the bands of pirates now spread across the western Indian Ocean. The answer would probably be 'No.'... [more]
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Learn or upgrade sailing skills with a holiday in Greece
Ozgur Tore/Sail-World,
So you want to learn to sail or maybe improve your sailing skills? Why do it at home? Why not do it in an exotic sailing location and enjoy a fabulous holiday at the same time? Got a non-sailing partner? They will have a fabulous time too - and it's all happening in Greece.... [more]
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Sarasota Yacht Club cancels Sarasota to Havana Event for 2011
Nancy Knudsen,
February 15 came and went with no positive word from USA authorities, and the Sarasota Yacht Club had established that as the deadline for getting permission for almost 200 sailors who wanted to sail to Havana in Cuba.... [more]
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Two world yacht rallies choose Mackay as stopover
Nancy Knudsen,
One of the best known rally organisers in the world, The World Cruising Club, which organises the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) and the World ARC, has chosen Mackay instead of Cairns next year for its Australian port visit. This means it is joining the round-world Blue Water Rally which has been using Mackay for a stopover for some years.... [more]
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Extinction predictor 'will help protect coral reefs'
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies,
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.... [more]
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Sanctuary Cove Reveals Plans for 2011 Show
Kate Duryea,
A world record attempt, marine seminars and VIP packages are some of the plans announced for the 2011 Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show at an official launch today.... [more]
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Raymarine Asia Special Trade In offer ends March 25 2011
Raymarine Asia,
Raymarine Asia is pleased to announce a trade-in deal available until March 25, 2011. This trade-in deal is available through participating Raymarine Asia Pty Ltd authorised Service Dealers & Retailers and is only available on systems purchased by the Service Dealer or Retailer from Raymarine Asia Pty Ltd.... [more]
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Fitzroy Yachts lightens the load with Goldcore Light
Mat Wylie,
With significant advancements in the production of Goldcore lightweight plywood, the brand is seeing growing popularity in all corners of the world. Goldcore Light is riding the popularity as one of the best lightweight plywoods in the business of Marine interior construction. Fitzroy Yachts trialed and selected Goldcore Light for their G50 project... [more]
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