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  • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Don't know about composition or otherwise of MCIB. Our National response was negative as we didn't know it was there for more than a week, drifting in shipping lanes, until it turned up on our doorstep, courtesy of the USCG and RN. For more than a year that vessel was towable having weathered a hurricane and Storm Denis. Some effort should have been triggered to find her and remove her .
    And this refers back to my earlier question ref the legalities around sinking this vessel.

    As far as I know both the RN and USCG, having come across this vessel, reported its position and the fact that it was adrift, in international waters.

    What else where they to do; more specifically what else were they obliged to do?

    Board it and take it in tow?

    Is it a legal requirement of a ships Captain, going about his lawful business and coming across a situation like this to resolve it?

    Or report it and continue on with your passage?
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

    Comment


    • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
      The only way Alta could have been detected was by visual or radar tracking. She was a "Dead" ship electronically , so without visual report or coastal radar, or a tracking ship radar, she remained missing until she went ashore.
      http://www.emsa.europa.eu/copernicus...7/2880/23.html

      Could be an option

      Comment


      • Originally posted by DeV View Post
        Not really in this case. It's not an active system. You have to analyse large patches of the surface of the earth to try and find what you are looking for, assuming you know roughly where it is.
        However you can set alarms on radar to alert an operator when a target enters specific zones.
        German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
        German 2: Private? I am a general!
        German 1: That is the bad news.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by DeV View Post
          Copernicus Satellite system is geared towards identifying aberrations in large areas of the Earths sea surface such as coral bleaching, algae blooms, pollution all covering many square kilometers. A while ago Efforts were made to try and find a derelict cruise ship, fronted by the ICG Dublin, using Satellite information. Nothing was found, but critically they new a ship was missing in a certain area, and as nothing was found they assumed it must have foundered. You cannot translate those actions in to a system that could track and identify all ships by satellite. Ideally the USCG could have put a tracker on ALTA and find her later after the hurricane had passed. The RN could have taken a minimalist danger approach and sunk her or sought permission to sink her.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
            The RN could have taken a minimalist danger approach and sunk her or sought permission to sink her.
            Except that the ship which came across her was an unarmed (except 7.62 machine guns) Antarctic Survey vessel...not a warship...HMS Protector...and as another poster has pointed out they had no legal grounds to do so.

            Lets be realistic here and apportion the 'blame'...if indeed there is any...where it belongs.

            With those responsible for the territorial waters in which this hulk came ashore.

            Had it drifted a couple of hundred miles further north it would have hit the west coast of Scotland...

            Again I ask the question...did the RN or USCG break the law / maritime protocol by reporting this vessel adrift and going on about their lawful business?

            I suspect not but genuinely interested because maritime law is complex...
            'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

            Comment


            • Originally posted by spider View Post
              Except that the ship which came across her was an unarmed (except 7.62 machine guns) Antarctic Survey vessel...not a warship...HMS Protector...and as another poster has pointed out they had no legal grounds to do so.

              Lets be realistic here and apportion the 'blame'...if indeed there is any...where it belongs.

              With those responsible for the territorial waters in which this hulk came ashore.

              Had it drifted a couple of hundred miles further north it would have hit the west coast of Scotland...

              Again I ask the question...did the RN or USCG break the law / maritime protocol by reporting this vessel adrift and going on about their lawful business?

              I suspect not but genuinely interested because maritime law is complex...
              The ALTA was voluntarily abandoned, albeit because US rescuers wanted to remove the crew to safety before an imminent hurricane struck. Some months later an RN ship came across the drifter and could be the FIRST contact and now possible owner of the wreck. Solution-consult with legals , possibly go on board and open sea valves. When she came ashore in Ireland after a year she becomes the property of the STATE through the Receiver of Wrecks. Our problem is we ignore the sea and its vagaries until it bites us.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                The ALTA was voluntarily abandoned, albeit because US rescuers wanted to remove the crew to safety before an imminent hurricane struck. Some months later an RN ship came across the drifter and could be the FIRST contact and now possible owner of the wreck. Solution-consult with legals , possibly go on board and open sea valves. When she came ashore in Ireland after a year she becomes the property of the STATE through the Receiver of Wrecks. Our problem is we ignore the sea and its vagaries until it bites us.
                I'm really sorry and with respect I'm going to disagree with you.

                If I was a Commanding Officer, and there was no legal obligation upon me, there is no way I'd risk the health and safety of my crew by boarding and sinking an unstable, high-sided cargo vessel on the high seas, just because it might hit Ireland.

                How were the crew of HMS Protector meant to board MV Alta and open her sea valves?
                'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

                Comment


                • Originally posted by spider View Post
                  I'm really sorry and with respect I'm going to disagree with you.

                  If I was a Commanding Officer, and there was no legal obligation upon me, there is no way I'd risk the health and safety of my crew by boarding and sinking an unstable, high-sided cargo vessel on the high seas, just because it might hit Ireland.

                  How were the crew of HMS Protector meant to board MV Alta and open her sea valves?
                  A derelict found at sea, is reportable, and a decision on it's fate is a priority. In this case an unlit object weighing more than a 1000 tonnes and a hazard to navigation. If they were told to leave it be, we can ask the Brits why.? Boarding can be done by helicopter or grapnel. When we sunk the tanker( half) South of Fastnet and the other part of the escort scarpered because of bad impending weather, some of the Naval crew went on board for a quick look around the Bridge. The other half was HM Frigate and ours was P20 with MRM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                    A derelict found at sea, is reportable, and a decision on it's fate is a priority. In this case an unlit object weighing more than a 1000 tonnes and a hazard to navigation. If they were told to leave it be, we can ask the Brits why.? Boarding can be done by helicopter or grapnel. When we sunk the tanker( half) South of Fastnet and the other part of the escort scarpered because of bad impending weather, some of the Naval crew went on board for a quick look around the Bridge. The other half was HM Frigate and ours was P20 with MRM.
                    HMS Protector doesn’t carry helicopters.

                    They were also en-route to the Caribbean to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

                    This is what they said about coming across the MV Alta on Twitter;

                    https://twitter.com/hmsprotector/sta...33983958265856

                    In a nutshell they investigated it, reported it and moved on as there was still a possibility of the ship being recovered.
                    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by spider View Post
                      HMS Protector doesn’t carry helicopters.

                      They were also en-route to the Caribbean to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.

                      This is what they said about coming across the MV Alta on Twitter;

                      https://twitter.com/hmsprotector/sta...33983958265856

                      In a nutshell they investigated it, reported it and moved on as there was still a possibility of the ship being recovered.
                      When CRISTOS BITAS laden with 35,000 tonnes crude oil hit the Welsh Coast in Oct. 1978. She was deemed to be unrepairable and was pumped out to a residual of a 1000 tonnes of dregs. She was escorted by a joint British/Irish Naval group and sunk in the teeth of an imminent storm 10, about 330 miles off FASTNET in 16,000ft of water by the Irish vessel as the Brit went home. ALTA needed to be taken care of but was left a danger to navigation.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                        When CRISTOS BITAS laden with 35,000 tonnes crude oil hit the Welsh Coast in Oct. 1978. She was deemed to be unrepairable and was pumped out to a residual of a 1000 tonnes of dregs. She was escorted by a joint British/Irish Naval group and sunk in the teeth of an imminent storm 10, about 330 miles off FASTNET in 16,000ft of water by the Irish vessel as the Brit went home. ALTA needed to be taken care of but was left a danger to navigation.
                        I seem to remember P31 was on standby after the Kowloon Bridge incident to sink another merchant vessel adrift should it be in danger of drifting on to the southwest coast. Possiby Yarrawonga, not sure it was your gig at the time. In that event, an Ocean Going tug was able to get a tow, and I think towed her to Brest.
                        German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                        German 2: Private? I am a general!
                        German 1: That is the bad news.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                          When CRISTOS BITAS laden with 35,000 tonnes crude oil hit the Welsh Coast in Oct. 1978. She was deemed to be unrepairable and was pumped out to a residual of a 1000 tonnes of dregs. She was escorted by a joint British/Irish Naval group and sunk in the teeth of an imminent storm 10, about 330 miles off FASTNET in 16,000ft of water by the Irish vessel as the Brit went home. ALTA needed to be taken care of but was left a danger to navigation.
                          Thank You I wasn't aware of that incident...I've had a quick read and from what I can gather MV Christos Bitas was scuttled by salvage experts as part of a planned and well-executed operation...with the consent of her owners.

                          Thats different to coming across a drifting ship...mid-atlantic...which has no power...and getting your people onboard from a small boat...to then make their way into the dark bowels of an unfamiliar vessel...locate the sea-valves...and scuttle it. I wouldn't ask anyone to do that unless there was an imminent risk to life or limb.

                          And all whilst you have received a short-notice order to get to the Caribbean as quickly as possible to deal with the humanitarian aftermath of a hurricane.

                          You and I can disagree all we like...you're the expert and I respect that...if anyone is to blame here its the ships owners...seems it was easier to just let this thing drift than actually deal with it themselves.
                          'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by spider View Post
                            Thank You I wasn't aware of that incident...I've had a quick read and from what I can gather MV Christos Bitas was scuttled by salvage experts as part of a planned and well-executed operation...with the consent of her owners.

                            Thats different to coming across a drifting ship...mid-atlantic...which has no power...and getting your people onboard from a small boat...to then make their way into the dark bowels of an unfamiliar vessel...locate the sea-valves...and scuttle it. I wouldn't ask anyone to do that unless there was an imminent risk to life or limb.

                            And all whilst you have received a short-notice order to get to the Caribbean as quickly as possible to deal with the humanitarian aftermath of a hurricane.

                            You and I can disagree all we like...you're the expert and I respect that...if anyone is to blame here its the ships owners...seems it was easier to just let this thing drift than actually deal with it themselves.
                            Noted and all opinions are valid. Christos Bitas was not scuttled by the salvage company AFAIK. She may have been put under by 40mm gunfire by P20.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
                              Copernicus Satellite system is geared towards identifying aberrations in large areas of the Earths sea surface such as coral bleaching, algae blooms, pollution all covering many square kilometers. A while ago Efforts were made to try and find a derelict cruise ship, fronted by the ICG Dublin, using Satellite information. Nothing was found, but critically they new a ship was missing in a certain area, and as nothing was found they assumed it must have foundered. You cannot translate those actions in to a system that could track and identify all ships by satellite. Ideally the USCG could have put a tracker on ALTA and find her later after the hurricane had passed. The RN could have taken a minimalist danger approach and sunk her or sought permission to sink her.
                              Advances in technology has meant that that older orbiting sensors can and have been made capable at detecting ships at sea in all sea states.

                              With 90% certainty, a vessel matching the length and beam of MV ALTA was detected on 10FEB20 at 200nm off the South West Coast.

                              Based on wind, wave and tidal conditions from that point on, coupled with calculated leeway factors for a vessel of her size:

                              She was again highly likely detected on 14FEB20 at 65nm off Ballycotton.

                              She was again highly likely detected on 15FEB20 at 30nm off Ballycotton.

                              She was confirmed detected ashore on 17FEB20 being corroborated by visual reports on 16FEB20.

                              MODS: All this is open source based info.
                              Last edited by TangoSierra; 7 March 2021, 22:54.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by TangoSierra View Post
                                Advances in technology has meant that that older orbiting sensors can and have been made capable at detecting ships at sea in all sea states.

                                With 90% certainty, a vessel matching the length and beam of MV ALTA was detected on 10FEB20 at 200nm off the South West Coast.

                                Based on wind, wave and tidal conditions from that point on, coupled with calculated leeway factors for a vessel of her size:

                                She was again highly likely detected on 14FEB20 at 65nm off Ballycotton.

                                She was again highly likely detected on 15FEB20 at 30nm off Ballycotton.

                                She was confirmed detected ashore on 17FEB20 being corroborated by visual reports on 16FEB20.

                                MODS: All this is open source based info.
                                It seems to me that if the vessel was observed as you outlined it would have to be a visual or radar sighting. It also is clear that whatever system was used the users would have to know it was a ship previously observed by them. It would also be most likely a geo-stationary system looking at the same patch of ocean. If an entity knew it was there, why wasn't it reported as it was an obvious danger to surface traffic.

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