Italy’s second ‘ghost ship’

A cargo ship abandoned by its crew with 359 Syrian refugees on board was towed ashore in Italy on Saturday in the second such rescue this week, prompting calls for stronger European Union action in the face of new tactics by human traffickers.

The Ezadeen, a Sierra-Leone-flagged vessel that had set sail from Turkey, docked in the southern Italian port of Corigliano Calabro. The passengers, including 62 minors, were in good condition and were being transferred to immigration centres and foster homes across Italy, coastguard and police officials said.

The decrepit vessel, licensed only to carry livestock, was strewn with steel containers, broken chairs, piles of garbage bags, empty gasoline tanks and scattered clothes and belongings.

On Wednesday, about 800 mostly Syrian migrants were rescued from another ‘ghost ship’, the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M. It too was abandoned at sea, highlighting a new ploy by traffickers who make money by promising refugees a transfer to Europe.
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Research Ship MV Akademik Shokalskiyand Icebreakers Iced In at South Pole


Maybe you heard about the three icebreakers going to the rescue of the Russian passenger ship MV Akademik Shokalskiy stuck in frozen Antarctican waters with 74 researchers, crew and tourists aboard. They got hit by 50 knot winds and a blizzard Monday, are frozen about 100 miles east of Dumont D’urville, and the first expected to arrive is expected to be the Chinese Snow Dragon. The ice is about ten feet thick in places.

The iced-in Russian ship usually keeps to open waters, but is following the path of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson a century ago, and conducting the same experiments as that crew. The blizzard came up unexpectedly. The ship still runs, and is provisioned to feed the passengers. Now they’ve been stuck since Monday December 23rd.

Now, six miles away, the Snow dragon is stuck in the ice. The French Icebreaker Astrolabe is looking like it may be stuck too. And the The Aurora Australis is two days away.

If you want to follow their progress firsthand, journalists aboard are tweeting from @alokjha, @loztopham, and @GdnAntarctica.

What is a little ironic, (or not, if they start to get claustrophobic) is that an Australian climate change professor is in charge of a ship is full of climate experts studying the effects of climate change. From here in sunny California we could have saved them a pretty penny. It looks like the prognosis on the south pole is this: Still cold out there.

Ferry rescues Couple in Big Foot Slough


John and Renee Hoffman of Black Mountain were sailing in Big Foot Slough on September 26 2013 when their boat capsized. Luckily, they were wearing their floatation devices.

After forty-five minutes in the water, they were rescued by a ferry run by Capt. Steven Goodwin, whose crew launched a sixteen foot rescue boat.

Glenn Salter and Daniel Smith pulled the Hoffmans from Pamlico Sound.

Italian investigators detail Concordia chaos and confusion

The severity of the Costa Concordia shipwreck was chiefly due to the “unconventional behavior” of its captain and weak emergency management, an Italian safety agency has concluded. The findings of the Italian Marine Casualties Investigative Body are part of a definitive 176-page report on the 2012 accident. While it did not absolve Costa Cruises’ shoreside oversight, the report said Capt. Francesco Schettino lied about the extent of damages to authorities. It further said that his delays in declaring an emergency and in deciding to abandon ship had fatal consequences.

Italian investigators detail Concordia ‘chaos and confusion’ Travel Weekly

U.S. siblings recovering after Caribbean shipwreck


Two American siblings, Dan and Kate Suski, are recovering on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia after a weekend fishing trip turned into a harrowing experience.Their charter boat sank Sunday, and the pair endured many hours in the water before reaching a beach, a Saint Lucia police detective said.Four people were on the boat — the two Americans, a captain and one crew member.

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