Random Jottings

Current navigation standards must be declining....

Otherwise how can you explain a 'modern' large container vessel running aground around my patch on the Farne Islands?


For those not fully familiar with the story then take a look at any of the attachments below and you will get a flavour of the incident:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-21813072
http://www.itv.com/news/tyne-tees/story/2013-03-16/cargo-ship-run-aground-off-northumberland-coast/

So in summary, a large, 80m long cargo vessel which was built in 2001 ran up on the back of Little Harcar and as I write is sat waiting for.....well something or should I say some tugs to come along and pull her from the rocks.

Reading the reports about the grounding I am intrigued, how on earth did this relatively large vessel find herself in a position where she was headed pretty much straight at the Farne Islands?

I am sure that more will come out when there is an enquiry and if the findings are made public but I find it unbelievable that, even if there was a catastrophic loss of all navigation aids, the crew could not see that the two light-houses, on Longstone and Inner Farne Island, were showing on port and starboard respectively, meaning that they were in a very, very bad place. Heading smack bang for the middle of the Farne Islands with all the means regards horrible currents, contrary tide rips, rocky islands, reefs and shoals!

The vessel is registered in Antigua but German owned and insured, so it can only be hoped that the vessel is in a reasonable state of repair and can ultimately be extracted from its current position with minimal damage to the vessel and the area.

The last time there was a comparable event was when SS Abessinia, also a general cargo vessel, ran up and onto Knifestone in 1921, in this instance she was lost and today the remnants make an interesting dive. I find it interesting that even in 1921 running a ship aground in fair weather onto the Farnes was considered suspect and insurance fraud was suspected in 1921...have modern navigation methods amd standards dipped so low? But hey I am a natural cynic!!!

On another topic I hope to be diving tomorrow, I was planning a lake dive at Ullswater but a trip to the Farnes for a nosey about is just too much to miss!

Dive safe

RichW


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