On May 2, 2016, the "Jason" was mobilized from Toulon after the French 21-m-tug "Le Costaud”, 91 gt, (built 1972 AT & CH Ziegler Frères, Dunkerque) of the Coselev company, alerted the CROSS Med that the barge "Monica-B" with a length of 18 meters, being towed from Porquerolles to La Londe and situated between the island of Porquerolles and Londe les Maures, was threatened to sink due to water ingress. The barge was containing three cubic meters diesel oil and was listing 10 °. The CROSS Med immediately informed the center of naval operations at Toulon that mobilized a Dauphin helicopter of the Navy which took off at 11:45 a.m. for a reconnaissance and assessment flight; an assessment and intervention team was mobilized by the Maritime Prefecture of the Mediterranean. The “Jason" was diverted to the Bay of Hyères. At 11:30 a.m. the tug grounded the barge in a water depth of 2,70 meters 700 meters off the Badine Beach in the bay of Hyères. There was a thin diesel film of 60 m² around the barge which was treated by small boats of the Travaux Maritimes et Mecaniques (TMML) in Lavandou. At noon the tug “Laisse Dire” (MMSI: 228226600) of TMML was requested by the owner of the barge for the assistance in the salvage operation as a platform to conduct investigations by divers on the hull of the barge. The Maritime Prefecture was evaluating pollution control devices to be deployed to contain a possible oil spill. At 4 p.m. the barge was refloated and allowed to continue the journey to La Londe.
French report with photo:
Seven years after the arrival in the port of Saint-Nazaire, the "Aspet", which later became the "Zortürk", is finally being demolished. The bulker had suffered water ingress in July 2009 while en route from Hull to Lisbon and was diverted to the Loire port to shelter. The ship has never left since. It always had a registered owner, a longtime core crew and was even bought by a Turkish owner. Reclamation work has even been undertaken by its new owner. But the ship was found unfit to sail to sea by the Commercial Court of Saint-Nazaire and it was only in 2014 that a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the port and the owner.
With the Prefecture in September 2014 authorizing the dismantling of the ship in the dry dock of Saint Nazaire, work started to find a provider for the dismantling of the "Zortürk". On February 2016, the company Séjourné (Veolia) was selected and started two months later. Actually cutting of the superstructure is underway, followed by the removal of the engine block before proceeding to the hull itself. The work should be completed in July. The dock can then return to its original destination, mainly ship repair and shipbuilding.
French reports and photos:
Philippine Navy commissions newly-acquired research vessel
Research Vessel (R/V) Melville, a US Navy vessel, was formally turned-over to the Philippines Friday in a ceremony in San Diego, California.
The research ship, owned by the US Office of Naval Research and operated by Scripps Institute of Oceanography, was named for George Melville, an explorer and US Navy rear admiral.
After it's handover to the Philippine Navy, the ship was renamed BRP Gregorio Velasquez and was assigned the bow number AGR-702.
Dr. Gregorio Velasquez, a pioneer in Philippine physiology, was declared a National Scientist in 1982.
The 279-foot vessel was received by Commo. Narciso Vingson Jr., deputy commander of the Philippine Navy's Philippine Fleet, and former navy flag officer in command Jesus Millan who represented Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin.
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Storms caused superficial damage off South African coast
During a cruise along the South African east and south coasts as far as Cape Town, to which the "MSC Sinfonia" started on Apr 23, 2016, in Durban, the ship experienced very stormy weather along the KwaZulu-Natal and Wild Coasts. Swells were reaching over ten metres, which resulted in some superficial damage on the ship. With more storms being reported along the way, the captain took the decision for the safety of the ship and comfort of the passengers to take shelter in Port Elizabeth on Apr 24 until the seas had calmed down. The damage caused in the initial storm was repaired immediately and since then was a waiting game with one front after another between the ship and Cape Town. The decision to go into Port Elizabeth for shelter has been very costly, with refunds for two cancelled cruises and the repatriation of those stuck in Port Elizabeth but expecting to make Cape Town over the weekend. 200 passengers elected to stay on to Cape Town and everyone else was home already. Passengers will receive full refunds for cancelled cruises and a 25 percent discount on the next cruise booked. The storms have impacted over 6000 passengers on a couple of cruises to Walvis Bay and a few shorter cruises. The ship left Port Elizabeth on Apr 30 and headed to Cape Town where it arrived on May 1.