Channel Islands News

15 Nov 2019

Brittany Ferries Consortium Buys Condor

Pic: Brittany Ferries

Condor Ferries, an operator of passenger and freight ferry services between UK and France, has been sold to a consortium including the French shipping company Brittany Ferries.Brittany Ferries, in consortium with the Columbia Threadneedle European Sustainable Infrastructure Fund (ESIF), has reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Condor Ferries from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).Contracts have been signed and the deal is expected to be executed following scrutiny by relevant regulatory authorities.

03 Sep 2019

No Passengers Survive Raging CA Dive Boat Blaze

First Responders battle blaze aboard the MV Conception. (Image: USCG)

None of a dive boat's 34 passengers survived a fast-moving fire that sunk it off California's Santa Cruz Island, officials said on Tuesday, as recovery workers prepared to try to retrieve 14 bodies still believed to be on the vessel or in the ocean.Emergency workers planned to use DNA analysis to identify the badly-burned remains of the 20 people so far removed from the 75-foot (23 m) Conception ship, which was lying upside down under more than 60 feet (18 meters) of water following…

03 Sep 2019

Divers Search for Bodies in CA Boat Fire

A USCG image of local responders fighting the fire on board the Conception.

Divers searched for more bodies early on Tuesday around the wreck of a boat destroyed by a blaze off the coast of southern California, as authorities launched an investigation into one of the area's worst maritime disasters.Emergency crews found at least 25 bodies after the fire broke out before dawn on Monday, leaving nine people still missing, the Associated Press reported. The coastguard declined to confirm the figures."We are looking for bodies now," said Santa Barbara Fire Department spokeswoman Amber Anderson.Flames ripped through the scuba diving vessel Conception…

03 Sep 2019

8 Dead, 26 Missing After Dive Boat Fire

Eight people were confirmed dead from a predawn fire that sank a boat off a Southern California island and 26 others who were on the scuba diving vessel were missing, a local sheriff said.The fire broke out aboard the Conception, a 75-foot (23-metre) boat, at about 3:15 a.m. while it was moored just off the shore of Santa Cruz Island, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.Passengers slept in the ship's lower quarters, officials said, while five crew members who were above deck on the bridge escaped.The Coast Guard searched the coastline of Santa Cruz Island for any other possible survivors but had not found anyone, officials said."This isn't a day that we wanted to wake up to for Labor Day and it's a very tragic event…

02 Sep 2019

Coast Guard, Local Agencies Respond to Boat Fire near Santa Cruz Island

Coast Guard and partner agencies are responding to a vessel fire near Santa Cruz Island Monday.At approximately 3:15 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach watchstanders overheard a mayday call via channel 16 of an engulfed 75-foot commercial diving vessel with 38 people aboard.Crews from the Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Fire Department, Ventura County Fire Department and Vessel Assist responded. The fire department crews were fighting the fire when the vessel sank 20 yards off shore in 64 feet of water.Five people were evacuated aboard a good Samaritan pleasure craft Great Escape.Currently, 33 people aboard the vessel are unaccounted for.Watchstanders launched two Coast Guard Station Channel Islands Harbor 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crews…

17 Jun 2019

PROPULSION: The OXE Diesel Outboard Arrives

OXE’s gear box eliminates beveled gears and transfer shafts, the weakness found in other outboards and inboards. The commonly used dog clutch system used mainly on outboard systems has been substituted with more sophisticated electro hydraulically operated solution.

Swedish manufacturer Cimco Marine has developed the world’s first 200hp diesel marine outboard – named the OXE Diesel – for maritime security agencies, yacht tenders, municipalities and military applications.As Trace Laborde, Marine Manager for Laborde Products, said, “The OXE diesel is the complete package, a true diesel engine. It’s great for any maritime application that requires fuel efficiency, simple maintenance, compliance with all European and EPA Tier 3 regulations, and unmatched performance.

28 Feb 2019

R/V Bob and Betty Beyster: New CAT For Scripps

Photo courtesy of Armstrong Marine

The Research Vessel Bob and Betty Beyster is a purpose-built coastal research vessel designed for efficient operations offshore Southern California and throughout the Channel Islands. Based at the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility and operated as a shared-use facility, Bob and Betty Beyster provides scientists, students and engineers a capable, safe and economical platform for research and teaching.R/V Bob and Betty Beyster is a 42-foot scientific workboat with a range of 500 nautical miles, a cruising speed better than 25 knots, and a capacity for six scientists and a boat operator.

02 Mar 2018

Cargo Ships Slow Transits to Curb Emissions, Protect Whales

© Jeremy Francis / Adobe Stock

Partners in an initiative to cut air pollution and protect whales have announced results from the 2017 program and publicly recognized the 11 shipping companies who participated, reducing speeds to 12 knots or less in two regions. For the first time the program included speed reduction zones in the San Francisco Bay Area in addition to the Santa Barbara Channel region. The voluntary incentive program started July 1 and ended November 15, 2017. Automatic Identification System (AIS)…

01 Aug 2017

ABB Marine Software Supports Ocean Research

BTOWU vessel Fantastiko (Photo: ABB)

ABB said it is providing the shipboard systems and systems expertise that will support the research voyages undertaken by ‘By the Ocean we Unite’, a charitable organization whose mission is to highlight the damage done by the millions of tons of plastics that end up in the world’s oceans every year. The group has installed a state of the art Marine Advisory System including SPOS Onboard weather routing software from MeteoGroup, on the sailing yacht Fantastiko to help crew route-plan and monitor weather conditions on a research voyage in waters off Rotterdam…

14 Jun 2017

US Coast Guard Shipwreck Found – 100 Years Later

In 1914, USRC Cutter McCulloch was ordered to Mare Island Navy Shipyard where the cutter’s boilers were replaced, the mainmast was removed and the bowsprit shortened. In 1915, McCulloch became a US Coast Guard Cutter when the US Revenue Cutter Service and US Life-Saving Service were combined to create the United States Coast Guard. (Credit: Gary Fabian Collection)

The shipwreck remains of a historic U.S. Coast Guard cutter have been discovered off of Southern California 100 years after the vessel was lost at sea. In its heyday, the Coast Guard Cutter McCulloch – commissioned in 1897 as a cruising cutter for the U.S. Treasury’s Revenue Cutter Service, a predecessor of the Coast Guard – saw its share of action, having served with Commodore George Dewey in the Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 as part of the U.S. Asiatic Squadron that destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first major battle of the Spanish-American War.

05 Jun 2017

Global Marine Group Keeping Busy in 2017

(Photo: Global Marine Group)

Offshore engineering firm the Global Marine Group (GMG) reported a busy first five months of 2017 with a strong outlook for the rest of the year. The company said all key assets from the GMG fleet are currently mobilized, either supporting maintenance zone agreements around the world, or on installation, maintenance or repair contracts. “As we head into the summer months, we are extremely pleased about our robust activity level, which we feel is a reflection of our high performance standards…

20 Apr 2017

Merchant Navy Medal Award Nominations Open

Image: Merchant Navy Welfare Board

The Merchant Navy Medal (MNM) has been awarded by the industry for meritorious service since it was established in 2005. Last year it was elevated to a State award, with presentations conducted by HRH The Princess Royal at Trinity House on 15 November. This year, the closing date for the receipt of nominations is Friday 19 May. Details of the awards ceremony will be promulgated in due course. Eligibility for the MNM is limited to those who have served, or are serving, in the Merchant Navy or Fishing Fleets of the United Kingdom…

06 Apr 2017

NOAA Honors MOL

Pics: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL)  is pleased to announce that the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has honored MOL with an award for the company's participation in the 2016 Vessel Speed Reduction (VSR) incentive program. Launched in 2016 by NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, Ventura County Air Pollution Control District, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Volgenau Foundation…

01 Mar 2017

Burgess Marine: 3 Refits Complete in 3 Months

Condor Rapide undergoes refit at Cherbourg (Photo: Burgess Marine)

Britain’s largest independent ship repairer and marine engineering services provider Burgess Marine said it has recently completed its winter refit season in Cherbourg, completing three ferry refit projects over the three-month time span. Despite Brexit, Burgess Marine said business has boomed as the company has completed two refits for Wightlink and one for Condor Ferries at its 5,000T syncrolift facility in the French port. He added, “We have the technical management, knowledge…

18 Feb 2015

ISS Confirms Reduced UK Light Dues

Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) advises ship owners and managers that the rate governing the collection of UK Light Dues is set to reduce from April 1, 2015. As advised by Trinity House in Circular No 533, for vessels other than those where periodic payments apply, the charge will be 39p per Net Registered Tonne (NRT). Rates for the coming year (2015/16) have been reduced from 40p in 2014/15, which is a further penny less per NRT than the previous year. The reduction follows efficiency savings by the GLAs and reflect a UK Government commitment to “create the right conditions to support one of the UK’s most important industries”. The 39p rate applies up to a cap of 40,000 NRT (i.e. a maximum charge of £15,600) for vessels with and International Tonnage Certificate.

06 Feb 2017

UK, Continental Ferries Carried 8.8 mln Cars in 2016

Photo: UK Chamber of Shipping

The number of cars taken by ferry has increased from 8.6 million in 2015 to nearly 8.8 million in 2016, a 1.7% increase. This is the fourth successive year of growth according to the annual results of the ferry industry. 2016 Ferrystat figures released today by Discover Ferries, the industry body for ferry operators, reports that growth for car travel by sea is up by 473,000 in the past four years; up from just 8.3 million car crossings by sea in 2012. Discover Ferries member ferry operators include Brittany Ferries…

07 Feb 2017

Evergreen Recognized for Protecting Blue Whales

On behalf of Evergreen Line, Captain CT Chen (first left) attended the recognition ceremony of 2016 vessel speed reduction incentive program in Santa Barbara Channel Region. Photo courtesy of www.OurAir.org

Evergreen Line has received recognition for its excellent performance in a voluntary environmental and ecological protection program, which started on July 1 last year and ended on November 15. The initiative was aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions of vessels and avoiding whale collisions by encouraging slow sailing speeds in California's  Santa Barbara Channel region. The recognition ceremony took place on January 23, 2017. Vessels enrolled in this program were required to reduce speeds to 12 knots or less within 95 nautical miles of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

07 Apr 2015

Condor Ferries Orders Open Loop SOx Scrubbers

Commodore Goodwill (Photo: Condor Ferries)

DuPont Sustainable Solutions, through its subsidiary BELCO, has been awarded a contract to supply DuPont Marine Scrubber systems to two vessels owned by Condor Ferries, a Guernsey-based company that operates year-round freight, car and passenger ferries between the Channel Islands, United Kingdom and France. DuPont will provide four, single-stream, open-loop, gas-cleaning units for Commodore Clipper and Commodore Goodwill. Exhaust gas-cleaning systems will allow the ferries to meet all IMO Annex VI sulphur requirements while continuing to operate on heavy fuel oil, DuPont said.

24 May 2015

Sea Urchin Haven Disturbed by Oil Spill

Santa Barbara Photo Wikipedia

Stephanie Mutz makes a living plucking sea urchins from the Santa Barbara coast and selling the prickly treasure to upscale restaurants in Southern California. Now, she needs new hunting grounds. The coast, thought to be one of the world's best places for harvesting sea urchins, suffered its worst oil spill in 46 years this week, forcing authorities to ban fishing in an area 23 miles (37 km) long by seven miles (11 km) wide. "That was one of my predominant fishing spots, so I just have to think of a Plan B…

03 Sep 2014

Moore Stephens Welcomes UK Tonnage Tax Training Initiative

Sue Bill

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed an initiative by the UK Department for Transport (DfT) which it says will encourage the training of ratings. The DfT is to pilot a change to the tonnage tax training commitment which will allow three ratings to be trained in place of one officer-cadet. It will gather evidence regarding this proposed change with a view to making it permanent. The intention is that the pilot scheme will start in October 2015, but this is subject to the DfT receiving regulatory clearance in time.

07 Oct 2014

NOAA, NASA & BOEM to Monitor Biodiversity

NOAA, NASA and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) have joined together to support three demonstration projects that will lay the foundation for the first national network to monitor marine biodiversity at scales ranging from microbes to whales. The projects, to be funded at approximately $17 million over the next five years, subject to the availability of funds, will demonstrate how a national operational marine biodiversity observation network could be developed.

15 Jan 2015

Condor Ferries Sells 2 Vessels to Greek Firm

 Condor Express (Image courtesy: Condor Ferries)

Condor Ferries has confirmed it is selling two ferries - Condor Vitesse and Condor Express - to make way for the new super ferry. The vessels, built in Tasmania in 1997 and 1998, have been sold to Greek firm Seajets for an undisclosed sum. The two ferries currently operate between Guernsey, Jersey and the U.K. They will be replaced on the service by a GBP50mln Austal-class vessel, which was bought earlier this year, and has yet to be given a name. Due to the size of the vessel, known as Condor 102, the company will no longer sail to Weymouth and will only go to Poole.

04 Dec 2015

Laser Shined on Coast Guard Vessel

atchstanders at U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach operations center, received a report Thursday night from the 45-foot motor lifeboat crew at Coast Guard Station Channel Islands that four of the members were struck twice with a laser while transiting near the Channel Islands Harbor entrance. Crewmembers reported that the laser came from shore and once they energized their blue law-enforcement light, the laser desisted. After a medical evaluation, there were no reported injuries associated with the incident. The Coast Guard said that pointing handheld lasers at Coast Guard vessels and aircrews is dangerous and illegal. Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime and a felony offense under Title 18, United States Code, Section 39A.

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