Video: 10m wave slams ocean race yacht
Amazing footage of Volvo Ocean Race entrant Telefonica battling 10 metre waves in the middle of the Southern Ocean.
Tuatara taken to new home
Tuatara are now living on the door-step of New Zealand’s biggest city.
Sixty of the under-threat creatures have been released on Motuihe Island in the Hauraki Gulf, 30 minutes ferry ride from downtown Auckland.
It is only the tenth recorded tuatara release and is the closest the native New Zealand reptile has lived to an urban population.
The sixty tuatara were previously living on Northland’s Lady Alice Island.
They were flown to Motuihe on board a helicopter, accompanied by representatives of Northland iwi Ngatiwai.
A special handing over ceremony was held when the reptiles arrived at the pest-free island yesterday afternoon.
“People can get a better experience of tuatara roaming free in the wild, right on Auckland’s door-step,” says Tuatara expert Dr Matt Baber.
“The Tuatara is one of the most ancient and unique species on the planet and it’s also a national treasure and to have that creature released onto Motuihe, where it hasn’t been present for several hundred years, I think it’s just a major milestone.”
Half of the 60 tuatara were released during the public viewing over the weekend but the rest will be freed at undisclosed locations on the island.
The reptiles can earn $50,000 on the European black market.
Of the tuatara attempted to be smuggled out of the country, Matt estimates five per cent will make it to their destination.
It cost $40,000 to relocate the creatures to Motuihe, all of that cost raised by the Motuihe Trust.
There is thought to be between 50,000 and 100,000 Tuatara living in the wild.
It’s hoped that the 60 dropped at Motuihe will eventually grow to a population of 18,000 in a few hundred years.
Navy role for China’s carrier later this year
By Yang Jian (Shanghai Daily)
China’s refitted aircraft carrier will begin serving in the navy officially this year, seniormilitary officials said yesterday.
Fighter jets will soon be involved in sea trials that have been running smoothly so far,Xu Hongmeng, deputy commander of Chinese navy, said.
“The military authority plans to let the aircraft carrier be commissioned this year,” Xusaid in Beijing.
A Ministry of Defense spokesman said previously that the carrier would be used mainlyfor scientific research and training pilots for future carriers.
Military experts believe the carrier will be commissioned on August 1, China’s ArmyDay, and will serve in the South China Sea. It has yet to be named.
Photographs posted online have shown aircraft and helicopters landing on the deck ofthe carrier in the port of Dalian in northeast China.
Chinese J-15 fighters, which military experts regard as the most ideal aircraft for thecarrier, took part in short-distance take-off and landing exercises late last year, theBeijing-based Legal Evening News said yesterday.
The vessel will have fighting capability only after fighters can land and take off from thecarrier, said carrier expert Zhang Yao, senior researcher at the Shanghai Institutes forInternational Studies.
The carrier has taken part in four sea trials in the Yellow Sea since its first one lastAugust.
The vessel will be capable of carrying around 30 fighters and helicopters and carry acrew of around 2,000.
The Admiral Kuznetsov class aircraft carrier was bought from Ukraine in 1998 as anempty shell and has been refitted for its role as a research and training platform. Allweapons and radar systems and other equipment on board were made in China.
China still has a long way to go to have its home-produced aircraft carriers, because itneeds to adapt to new development trends in development, Xu Xiaoyan, a People’sLibration Army lieutenant general, said yesterday. “China will need at least threeaircraft carriers,” Xu said.
Major General Luo Yuan, a researcher with the PLA’s Military Science Academy, said: “It is fully possible for China to build more aircraft carriers based on the country’seconomic power.”
Sydney cruise-navy decision still in the dock
Defence Minister Stephen Smith has still not revealed if he will approve a plan for naval ships to share their Sydney base at Garden Island with the cruise industry.
Last year Mr Smith announced a review to consider the future use of the base, HMAS Kuttabul, by visiting cruise ships.
Liners that cannot fit under the Sydney Harbour Bridge already occasionally use the site, but the New South Wales Government and cruise industry are pushing for that to become a permanent arrangement.
Mr Smith has confirmed he received the report six weeks ago, but will not reveal what it says.
State Ports Minister Duncan Gay says he hopes the Federal Government will agree to the request.
He says space along Cowper Wharf Road at Woolloomooloo would be suitable for cruise ships.
“We need a cruise ship industry, we need a second berthing facility but we also need and like to keep the navy. They’re both important,” Mr Gay said.
“This recommendation would be the answer for Sydney and we urge the Federal Government to act on it as soon as possible.”
Carnival Australia controls most of the country’s cruise ship industry, sailing under well known names such as P&O Cruises and Cunard.
The company’s CEO, Ann Sherry, says the navy would still have the ultimate right of way if it gave up space at Garden Island.
“If there was some crisis and the navy needed a berth obviously we would absolutely bow to national security,” she said.
Ms Sherry says the industry has grown by more than 20 per cent a year over the past five years.
Courageous Sailor Wins Top Navy Award
14 March 2012
Courageous Sailor Wins Top Navy Award
When a fellow shipmate was injured during the Navy’s response to the MV RENA emergency, Leading Chef Brock West showed exceptional courage and commitment.
Those actions, and his dedication over 2011 to learn new skills outside those required of his job, have seen Leading Chef West awarded the prestigious RNZN Sailor of the Year prize.
On 11 October 2011 HMNZS ROTOITI evacuated 21 people off the MV RENA in response to a Mayday call from the Salvage Master.
Leading Chef West was the Bowman in one of ROTOITI’s Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) during the evacuation. As the crew of the RENA were descending the pilot ladder, one of the RENA crew fell approximately five meters, landing on top of a sailor in another RHIB.
Leading Chef West reacted immediately, jumping from his boat into the other RHIB to provide first aid. He kept the casualty safe, calm, and reassured whilst this RHIB returned to the Ship. He then stepped up and acted as bowman as the RHIB was recovered.
Leading Chef West took charge of this incident from the outset and demonstrated exceptional, knowledge, skill, and confidence throughout.
“It was pretty much all instincts. When I jumped into the other boat with the casualty, the training just took over,” he said from sea where he is busy exercising with the Australian Navy.
“I felt pretty proud the day of the rescue that I could put all that training to use.”
The RNZN Sailor of the Year (SOTY) is a prestigious award made only to the most outstanding and deserving candidates. The aim of the award is to recognise and foster excellence at the Junior Rating level. The award to Leading Chef West recognised his actions, and also his commitment to learning jobs outside that of being a Chef. He is now trained in RHIB driving and bowman duties, he has also learned intricate seamanship skills, meaning he is extremely valuable in whole ship activities such as when the ship is berthing or sailing.
Leading Chef West was formally awarded the Sailor of the Year Badge and Citation recently by the Mayor of Auckland City, Len Brown. The occasion was witnessed by over 700 members of the Navy, his parents, step mother and younger brother.
“I joined the Navy in 2006 to get good skills and to see the world and I definitely haven’t been disappointed. Winning the award is a highlight though. It is a great honour to be recognised for the effort and work I put in.”
The next challenge for Leading Chef West will be deploying on the frigate HMNZS TE KAHA.