News (May 2014 - Jan 2014)

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RYA Smartphone App

In June the RYA will be launching a new smartphone app - SafeTrx - which will allow boat users to log their passage plans on line rather than by calling the Coastguard.

The advantage of the SafeTrx system, which will be free to RYA members and available for a nominal fee to non-members, is that not only is the passage plan logged on the SafeTrx server, along with details of the boat and emergency contacts, but using the capabilities of the smartphone the passage is tracked and the plan updated as the voyage progresses. Should the worst occur and the vessel not arrive at its destination (as recorded by GPS or by the skipper) the system sends an SMS message to the skipper's nominated contacts who can then call the Coastguard. The SafeTrx server's record of the last know location will be available to the Coastguard minimising the area needing to be searched.

More information can be found on the SafeTrx Website and from June on the RYA website.

Newton Abbot Races

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Newton Abbot Racecourse held its first evening meeting of the year on Friday 25th April and Teignmouth NCI were privileged to have the first race named after us, The Teignmouth National Coastwatch Hurdle. Mervyn and Isobel were invited into the parade ring to pick the best turned out horse, which they judged to be Sanctioned. The winning lad, in this case a girl, received a prize of £25.The race was won by Foggy's Wall, owned by Mark Woodhouse, who was presented with the winning owner's trophy by Isobel.

After the excitement of the race it was back to the real business of the day for Isobel, Mervyn, Bill and Stuart who were collecting for our building fund. We would like to extend our thanks to Patrick Masterson and the team at Newton Abbot Racecourse for their warm welcome and to all the race goers who gave so generously and donated over £250. Many thanks.

The beautiful weather last week made for a busy week out on the water. Lots of boats to log and a few hardy swimmers as well. Whilst on watch last week we heard Brixham Coastguard on the radio asking for help for a swimmer in trouble. The Sea Sports RHIB was in the vicinity and answered the call, swiftly hauling the exhausted person into his craft and taking him to the River (Back) Beach.

From our lookout we could see a small crowd of people gathering on the beach by Sprat Sands, but didn't know why. The lifeguards maintain a watch on beach users in the summer and can warn people of dangerous areas for swimming. At this time of year we do try to keep a watchful eye on lone swimmers but our view of the channel and the area towards the point is limited. Hopefully when we get our new lookout we will have a better view over the pier.

Sprat Sands is one of our local hazards as an incoming tide, against the flow of the river, can produce strong currents depending on the direction of the wind. Even strong swimmers can be caught out by this. You can also check the sea temperature on line but at this time of year it is still quite a chilly 11°C.

Missing Yacht Rafiki

The US Coastguard has stopped searching for the crew of this yacht after deciding that the crew could not have survived in the conditions prevailing at the time.

Over 150,000 people (11am Tuesday) have signed a petition calling on the US Coastguard to resume the search and if this worries you then you can find the petition here.

Learn to row for free

River Teign Rowing Club are offering 12 - 18 year olds the chance to learn to row for free.

Monday evenings from March 31st at the lifeboat slipway.

For more information contact:

A beautiful green sea!

The sea at Teignmouth went green today, the fact that it is St Patrick's day that is not the reason!

The Environment Agency are using a green dye at given points along the sea front to establish the water flow from a 'combined outfall'.

We are assured that the dye is perfectly safe to swim in, for dogs to drink as it is a food dye.

The five men in a rib and the two onshore observers will be releasing more dye on the flood tide later today, and, weather permitting, will be back on the 25th to repeat the exercise.

4th-5th February 2014 Storm

Watchkeepers had a nice safe ringside seat for this one ...

but lots of damage done and too many people getting much too close to the danger.

A video clip of the storm can be viewed on Port-hand Mark's facebook page

Sanko Mineral

The cargo ship "Sanko Mineral" has been anchored about 4Nm off Teignmouth pretty much constantly since early November 2013 and despite the fact that she isn't a vessel in distress - at least in the maritime sense - we are frequently asked questions about her.

A little plundering of Google has revealed:

  1. The vessels owners, Sanko Steamship Co, seem to be in financial difficulty and are attempting a re-organisation.
  2. Sanko Mineral was subject of arrest and attachment proceeding in the US in 2012 but was subsequently released before ending up off Teignmouth.
  3. AIS indicates that there are 15 vessels worldwide bearing the Sanko name and several of them such as the Sanko Amity anchored in the Gulf of Mexico don't seem to be doing very much. Some such as the Sanko Mermaid seem not moved for so long that AIS has given up on them.

So close

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The weather must be bad for something this size to have come in so close!

Patara is 182m long with a 9m draft - too deep for Teignmouth. Next destination is Port Said but according to her AIS track she took a very zig zig passage down the channel. At one point she looked as though she was heading back toward Southampton but then just east of Portland she changed course again, went round The Bill and down towards Brixham before anchoring less than 3Nm off Teignmouth.

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