Monday, December 29, 2014

10 Dead, Surviving Crew and Passengers Rescued From Ferry
Ten people died in the rescue effort of a ferry that caught fire in the Adriatic sea. The surviving crew and passengers have been removed for the listing boat.

The ferry, the Norman Atlantic, caught fire before sunrise on Sunday. The fire was extinguished over 9 hours later at about 9:30 p.m.

Photo @ItalianNavy

The ferry was traveling from Patras, Greece, to Ancora, Italy when the fire broke out. The weather made rescue nearly impossible, considering the massive winds as a winter storm barreled down on Europe. 

A local wind, called a 'Bora Wind' blew in from the Dinaric Alps.  Gusts went to 60 m.p.h. according to meteorologist, Dave Samuel.

Both the Italy and Greece participated in the rescue, but the Italian navy was instrumental in bringing some organization into the effort.

Information from the AP, and the Italian Navy via twitter were used in preparing this report.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Explosions On Burning Ferry, Gale, Make Rescue Difficult

BRINDISI, ITALY - At least one person was reported dead and others are missing as authorities struggle to air-lift 500 passengers and crew from a ferry that caught fire in the Adriatic Sea Sunday. 

A.P. photo

The ferry, the Norman Atlantic, caught fire about 13 miles from the Albanian port city of Vlore between Greece and Italy.  The fire seemed to have started on the lower decks with continuing explosions thereafter.

Initially, efforts were being made to tow the ferry to safety, but gale force winds and driving hail have made the effort nearly impossible.  Meanwhile, approximately 140 passengers and possible crew have been airlifted to safety after the nation of Italy took over the rescue effort.

"We are burning and sinking, no one can save us!" said Nikos Papetheodosiou to Greek TV by telephone.  "Please help us!  Don't leave us!"

The surviving passengers have climbed to the top decks of the listing ferry with choking smoke billowing into the night.  The Italian Coastguard said the fire had been tamed.  Cables have been attached to the ship and fire-boats to stabilize the ship while passenger and crew are evacuated.

The North Atlantic provides harsh conditions with little chance for extended survival time for anyone forced into the water.  

Sources for this article include the L.A. Times and Reuters.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Seven Sisters Found, Crew Missing, Kite Man of Berkeley

The alert went out on boatwatch and a variety of cruising and sailing websites and sailing threads:  Tom Kardos and his experimental 40 foot yacht, Seven Sisters, was overdue for it's planned November 9th, arrival date in Acapulco.

11/28/2014 "S/V Seven Sisters

Overdue at Acapulco, Mexico
CLOSED:  On November 23, 2014, a passing M/V sighted and reported the S/Y Seven Sisters, disabled, one outrigger broken, no crew aboard.  No sighting of the kayak or the inflatable that were reported to be aboard.  Position: (11°-29.0 N x 102°-16.0 W).

Tonight we hear the mixed blessings, the yacht has been found, but not her crew, Tom Kardos.  At least, this is not another missing-without-a-trace story, like the Nina and the Lady Domina.  However, finding the boat without the crew suggests a difficult scenario.

Clearly, common advice is to stay with the wreck if at all possible.  It appears as if Tom survived a capsizing of the Seven Sisters and had erected temporary shelter, although, that is speculation.  It is unknown whether the kayak or inflatable that were lashed to the deck of the Seven Sisters survived the capsizing, or whether, for unknown reasons, Tom managed to board one of them.  

Our hearts are with Tom's family and friends.  

Photo the Seven Sisters

Cushion Port Side (overturned)

Flotation Starboard Side (overturned)
Outboard Motor Well On Stern

Tom gained fame early in life by landing his hang glider on the 10 yard line at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium on October 27th, 1979, upstaging the Cal-USC football game, and the Cal quarterback who ducked under the right wing.

Thanks to Latitude 38 and it's version of 'Lectronic Latitude' for some of the information and links.

Here is the Seven Sisters, in all her glory.