On Dec 4, 2019, the 'Seabed Constructor' located the wreck of the German armoured cruiser SMS 'Scharnhorst' off the Falkland Islands, where it was sunk by the British navy 105 years ago. She was the flagship of German Vice-Admiral Maximilian Graf von Spee's East Asia Squadron and was sunk on 8 December 1914 with more than 800 men on board, including Vice-Adm von Spee himself. The leader of the search, Mensun Bound, said the moment of discovery was extraordinary. "Suddenly she just came out of the gloom with great guns poking in every direction. As a Falkland Islander and a marine archaeologist, a discovery of this significance is an unforgettable, poignant moment in my life." The search for SMS Scharnhorst began five years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Falkland Islands, but was not successful at first. Search teams resumed their operation this year using the 'Seabed Constructor' and four autonomous underwater vehicles. They found SMS 'Scharnhorst' on the third day of the search, at a depth of 1,610 meters. The wreck was not disturbed during the operation and the Falkland Maritime Heritage Trust is seeking to have the site formally protected in law. SMS 'Scharnhorst' was part of the East Asia Squadron, the Imperial German Navy's cruiser squadron which operated mainly in the Pacific Ocean until the outbreak of World War One in 1914. The armoured cruiser played a key role in the Battle of Coronel, fought between the British Royal Navy and Germany's Imperial Navy off the coast of Chile. It was Britain's first naval defeat of World War One and it was a devastating one. The Germans sank two of the four British ships with the loss of more than 1,600 lives. Not a single German sailor died. The defeat at Coronel sent shock waves through the British empire and beyond. The Royal Navy despatched ships from the North Sea down to the South Atlantic and confronted the Germans at the Falkland Islands five weeks later. The British squadron pursued and engaged the German squadron. HMS 'Invincible' and HMS 'Inflexible' inflicted substantial damage on SMS 'Scharnhorst', causing it to sink with all 860 people on board. The Royal Navy then gave pursuit to the remaining German ships. Vice-Adm von Spee's two sons also died, Heinrich on board SMS Gneisenau and Otto aboard the light cruiser SMS 'Leipzig'. In total, 2,200 German sailors died in the battle. The head of the von Spee family said that the discovery of the wreck was "bittersweet". "We take comfort from the knowledge that the final resting place of so many has been found, and can now be preserved, whilst also being reminded of the huge waste of life. As a family we lost a father and his two sons on one day. Like the thousands of other families who suffered unimaginable loss during the First World War, we remember them and must ensure that their sacrifice was not in vain," Wilhelm Graf von Spee said. The Battle of the Falkland Islands had a lasting effect on World War One because as a result the East Asia Squadron, Germany's only permanent overseas naval formation, effectively ceased to exist and could no longer engage in commerce raiding. Reports with photos: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50670743 https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/05/incredible-pictures-show-newly-discovered-warship-sunk-landmark-1914-battle-11276498/
The 'Othoni' was arrested in Singapore on Dec 2 at 4.30 p.m. The arresting solicitor was Oon & Bazul LLP. The 'Othoni' was moord in pos. 01° 11.68' N 103° 42.07'E at the Sudong Special Purpose Anchorage (SSPU).
After the airport in Funchal was closed due to a storm, the 'Mein Schiff Herz' was diverted to Las Palmas and left Funchal on Dec 4 at 11 p.m. The ship arrived in Las Palmas on Dec 5 at 2.30 p.m. from where passengers booked on flights in Funchal were carried home.
Suspicions raised by a Brazilian researcher that the 'Leo Glory', now 'called Voyager I', could have been the cause of a huge oil spill still washing up on the shores of Brazil proved unfounded. A coordinator from the Satellite Image Processing and Analysis Laboratory (Lapis) at the Federal University of Alagoas, had identified a NGM Energy-managed vessel as a possible culprit for the incident, in a public hearing on Nov 21, 2019, in Brazil. According to a data provider, the vessel was in Vadinar during the entire period when the pollution occurred. Random AIS signals sometimes match vessels' Maritime Mobile Service Identities (MMSIs) and make the ships appear in erroneous positions. The Lapis coordinator also blamed a few data providers for the mishap.
The 'Sea-Watch 3' on Dec 5 has changed flag from Dutch to German. The Sea-Watch organization accused the Dutch authorities of not fulfilling their role as a nation supporting their mission, adding that the Dutch "deliberately created a situation that would make further rescue missions impossible." According to the NGO, a ship's flag country "is responsible for allowing ships to dock in a safe harbor as soon as possible after a rescue operation. However, whenever the 'Sea-Watch 3' appealed to its flag nation, the Netherlands repeatedly failed to fulfill its responsibilities. The statement went further, saying that the Netherlands had intentionally tried to prevent the rescue of dying people. Since its inception, Sea-Watch has rescued hundreds of drowning migrants between the coasts of northern Africa and Europe. Most notably it earned the ire of Italy's former interior minister, the far-right League party leader Matteo Salvini.