Meridian – Maritime



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Great Wall of Lights: China’s sea power on Darwin’s doorstep

In this July 2021 photo provided by Sea Shepherd, a Chinese-flagged ship fishes for squid at night on the high seas off the west coast of South America. The number of Chinese-flagged vessels in the south Pacific has surged 10-fold from 54 active vessels in 2009 to 557 in 2020, according to the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organization, or SPRFMO, an inter-governmental group of 15 members charged with ensuring the conservation and sustainable fishing of the species. Meanwhile, the size of its catch has grown from 70,000 tons in 2009 to 358,000. (Isaac Haslam/Sea Shepherd via AP) It’s the conservationists’ first glimpse of the world’s largest fishing fleet: an armada of nearly 300 Chinese vessels that have sailed halfway across the globe to lure the elusive Humboldt squid from the Pacific Ocean’s inky depths...


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JMSDF Asahi-class Destroyer in Air Defense Drill with French Navy

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Asahi-class destroyer JS Shiranui took part last week in an air defense exercise with the French Navy (Marine Nationale) off New Caledonia, a French territory comprising dozens of islands in the South Pacific. JS Shiranua then called at Nouméa, the capital and largest city of New Caledonia and the homeport of the “FANC”, the French Armed Forces of New Caledonia. There are 1,450 French troops permanently based in New Caledonia. On the naval side, one Floréal-class frigate, one  D’Entrecasteaux-class multi-purpose vessel and one P400 type patrol vessels are homeported in Nouméa. Along with the vessels based in Tahiti, they form the French Navy Pacific Fleet (known as ALPACI in French), which is commanded by Rear admiral Jean-Mathieu Rey whose headquarter is in Tahiti. The French Navy also has two Falcon 200 Guardian and some helicopters based in New Caledonia...


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The new 96m hydrogen-powered yacht concept by Sam Sorgiovanni

The Australian studio Sorgiovanni Designs has unveiled its latest eco-inspired superyacht concept: the 96-metre hydrogen-powered yacht ZeRO. 96m hydrogen powered ZeRO superyacht concept exterior. Thanks to the vessel’s ultra-efficient semi-planing hull form and a state-of-the-art propulsion system, yacht concept ZeRO can travel at speed with zero carbon impact on the environment. Explaining the inspiration for ZeRO’s sleek and streamlined design, the studio’s eponymous founder, Sam Sorgiovanni, comments: “My vision for ZeRO was to create a futuristic, wholistic form while maintaining a timeless elegance, with the hull embracing the superstructure to create a striking yet sleek hull form and restrained...



Navy Will Cut 500 Civilian East Coast Jobs

in ‘Drastic Action’ to Cut $66M

Five hundred Navy civilian employees on the East Coast will be cut and port operations will be restricted to a daylight Monday to Friday schedule to meet Navy Region Mid-Atlantic’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget goal. Three hundred Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Mid-Atlantic and 200 Navy Region Mid-Atlantic (CRMA) civilians will be cut as part of an effort to reduce $66 million in the budget for U.S. Navy shore facilities from Maine to Virginia and as far west as Illinois, Navy officials told USNI News on Tuesday. Of the CRMA civilians, most are set to come from family services and Morale Welfare and Recreation roles, a Navy official told USNI News. Some positions will be reduced via early retirement and voluntary buyouts...


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Drones Find Possible Sulfur Violations on 10% of Ships Near Gibraltar

Spanish authorities in conjunction with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) are deploying drones over the busy shipping lanes at the Strait of Gibraltar to monitor the level of sulfur oxides being released by ships sailing in one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. EMSA said the program, which is an expansion of similar efforts previously conducted in Northern Europe’s special designated emission control areas, has identified nearly 10 percent of the ships transiting the Strait of Gibraltar for further inspection for possible breaches in the current sulfur regulations...



Australia to build eight nuclear-powered

submarines under new AUKUS pact

The Australian government has unveiled its plans to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines under a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the United States and Britain, AUKUS. Initial efforts under AUKUS will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities. The first initiative under AUKUS is for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarine technology, focusing on identifying the optimal pathway to deliver at least eight nuclear-powered submarines for Australia...



Nuclear submarine deal shows the world has changed

Australia is going to build nuclear submarines as part of a new broader defence technology pact with the US and the UK. How much the world has changed since just April 2016. Back then, Australia chose a conventional, diesel-powered submarine as its key undersea weapon, to be built in partnership with the French. A nuclear submarine was ruled out then because of the sensitivity of military nuclear technologies, the complexity and cost, and because we were told our strategic needs would be met by the diesel submarine. The sensitivity, complexity and cost remain. What’s changed is our security environment. That’s summed up in three words: China under Xi. Any doubts about the direction Xi Jinping is taking China were ended in Tiananmen Square on July 1, when he doubled down on his vision that a great China is one that can use its power in the world however it deems fit, engaging in a great struggle against others who seek to make their own decisions...


An unmanned underwater vessel (UUV) operates near the USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf.


CBO Pegs Price Of Navy’s FY22 Plans For Distributed Fleet: Over $32B

The new report states the actual cost of the Navy's projected fleet could be 43% higher than historical congressional appropriations.

WASHINGTON: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office last week published its annual assessment of the Navy’s long-range shipbuilding plan, estimating the service’s current budget overshoots traditional congressional appropriations by as much as 43% in some cases — and providing a third-party analysis on how much a “distributed fleet” may cost. “CBO estimates that the force envisioned in the 2022 plan would cost an average of between $25.3 billion and $32.7 billion per year in 2021 dollars,” says the new CBO report published Sept. 16. “Those amounts are 10 percent to 43 percent higher than the $22.9 billion the Congress has appropriated, on average, for all shipbuilding activities over the past five years...


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Severe Winds Cause Ship Breakaway,

Damage at Port in New Orleans -NTSB

Severe, unforecasted winds caused a containership to breakaway from a pier and damaged equipment at the Napoleon Avenue Container Terminal in New Orleans on Aug. 2, 2020, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. As longshoremen loaded and unloaded cargo from containership CMA CGM Bianca a sudden, localized thunderstorm passed through the area. Ten of the vessel’s 16 mooring lines parted in the high winds, and the ship moved away from the pier. Containers lifted by shoreside gantry cranes struck the ship. One damaged container dropped in the water spilling a cargo of plastic pellets, known as nurdles. A crane operator suffered a minor injury. Damages totaled approximately $15.1 million. In its report, NTSB said the crane operators and CMA CGM Bianca’s crew reported extreme high winds that came on “in seconds” during heavy rains. Rains were heavy enough to completely obscure the visibility of security cameras at the terminal. Although the closest official weather station recorded winds peaking at 31 mph, a vessel located very close to the accident reported a wind gust at 73 mph. The CMA CGM Bianca’s master said that the storm was, “in the form of a tornado.” According to the report, the evidence suggests that the CMA CGM Bianca was struck by outflow winds from a downburst...


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News»Australia to Procure Tomahawk and Hypersonic Missiles

Australia will acquire greater long-range strike capability across the air, land and maritime domains, including Tomahawk cruise missiles for Royal Australian Navy's Hobart class destroyers, to "enhance Australia's ability to deter and respond to potential security challenges".The management of this transition, and other capability acquisition options that will meet Australia’s strategic requirements, will be at the forefront of consultations through AUKUS over the next 18 months. Back in March 2021, the Australian Government announced it would accelerate the creation of a $1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, boosting skilled jobs and helping secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities...


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US Navy, for the first time, uses MQ-25A Stingray to refuel F-35C

The US Navy (USN) and Boeing used the MQ-25A Stingray unmanned aerial vehicle to pass fuel to a Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter receiver aircraft for the first time on 13 September. During the three-hour flight, a USN F-35C pilot from Air Test Wing and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) approached the Boeing-owned test asset Stingray, MQ-25 T1, and performed formation evaluations, wake surveys, and drogue tracking. It then plugged with the T1 at 225 kt calibrated airspeed at 10,000 ft altitude, according to a USN statement. Boeing spokesperson Ashlee Erwin said on 14 September that 125 kg of fuel was transferred in approximately 10 seconds. She noted that this amount of fuel was a test offload similar to other refuelling flights the company has performed with the T1, and that operational refuelling will involve greater quantities of fuel...



French Government, Naval Group React to

Australia’s Decision to end Attack-class Submarine Program

Following yesterday’s announcement that the Australian Government will no longer be proceeding with the Attack Class Submarine Program, France’s Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Defense issued the following statement: France takes note of the decision just announced by the Australian government to stop the “Future Submarine Program” ocean-class submarine program and to launch cooperation with the United States on nuclear powered submarines. It is a decision contrary to the letter and the spirit of the cooperation which prevailed between France and Australia, based on a relationship of political trust as on the development of an industrial and technological base of defense of very high level in Australia...



‘Stab in the back’: French fury as Australia scraps submarine deal

France has expressed fury over Australia’s surprise decision to scrap a huge submarine deal in favour of nuclear-powered subs from the US, describing it as a “stab in the back” from Canberra and a strain on its friendly relationship with Washington. “It’s really a stab in the back. We had established a relationship of trust with Australia, this trust has been betrayed,” the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, told France Info radio on Thursday. The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, also expressed his disappointment, revealing that he only learned of the new alliance through the media. “This alliance we have only just been made aware and we weren’t even consulted,” he said. “As high representative for security, I was not aware and I assume that an agreement of such a nature wasn’t just brought together over night. I think it would have been worked on for quite a while.” “We regret not having been informed – not having been part of these talks,” Borrell said. “We weren’t included, we weren’t part and parcel of this...


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China Denies German Navy Port Entry

China has denied a German warship entry into a local harbor, a German foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday. The ship involved is the “Bayern” frigate, the spokesperson told a news briefing but did not identify the Chinese harbor. The warship set sail from Germany last month for a six-month mission to the South China Sea. “China has decided that it does not want a harbor visit, and we took notice of that,” the spokesperson said. China’s defense and foreign ministries did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Wednesday evening in Beijing. China claims swathes of the South China Sea and has established military outposts on artificial islands in the waters that contain gas fields and rich fishing, but the territorial claims are contested by some Western nations. Berlin has made it clear that the Bayern mission serves to stress the fact Germany does not accept China’s claims, though officials have said the German navy will stick to common trade routes...


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Raytheon To Demo Mine Hunting Sonar For Royal Navy

WASHINGTON: Raytheon is planning to demonstrate its mine hunting sonar off the coast of Scotland later this year, during a mine countermeasures exercise hosted by the UK’s Royal Navy. The company’s demonstration, which will take place in October, is expected to continue into next year as part of an ongoing effort from the UK known as the Wilton Industry Show and Experiment for Mine Countermeasures, also dubbed WISE-X. Raytheon UK will demonstrate the AQS-20C mine hunting sonar using an autonomous vessel from Atlas Electronics, company executives told Breaking Defense on Monday as part of the DSEI conference being held in London this week. “This is all a part of the bigger picture to prove to the [Royal] Navy that there are alternatives out there which can meet their full requirements, and that we can actually go forward, hopefully, in a competition in about four or five years’ time to provide equipment for the Royal Navy to do their mine hunting,” said Geraint Evans, a business development executive for Raytheon’s UK branch...



Austal ahead of schedule in yard upgrades, but still awaiting ships to build

Crews roll out the future expeditionary fast transport Newport before launching it into the Mobile River. That's the future littoral combat ship Mobile above it. (Austal USA) WASHINGTON — The Austal USA shipyard in Alabama is ahead of schedule in revamping its facilities to build steel ships in addition to aluminum ships, but ongoing questions about U.S. Navy shipbuilding plans have left the yard uncertain about what steel work could come its way in the near term. The company is investing about $200 million to improve and expand its shipyard and to grow its ship repair business, Larry Ryder, Austal USA’s vice president of business development and external affairs, told Defense News last month. About half of that is meant to convert half the production lines at the shipyard to work with steel rather than aluminum, which was used to build Austal’s Independence-variant littoral combat ships and its expeditionary fast transports...



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Royal Navy unveils vision of the autonomous fleet of the future

Some of the proposals are "eminently rational", while others are "much more in the realm of very, very speculative thinking", according to a maritime expert.  The Royal Navy has unveiled a vision of what the British fleet could look like in the future, including an enormous flying drone station based in the stratosphere and an underwater flagship vessel. "In a future scenario if we find ourselves unable to compete traditionally in terms of mass, we must think differently if we are to regain operational advantage," said Vice Admiral Nick Hine...



Bangladesh , weather , Maritime ports , warning signal 3 , Cyclone

The maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra in Bangladesh have been advised to hoist at the mast local cautionary

signage three to alert vessels of a possible squall. The weather office's advisory for cautionary signal number three -- which means that a depression has formed and may affect the ports later -- comes in the wake of a deep depression over the Northwest Bay moving over to the eastern Indian state of Odisha...


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Tropical Storm Nicholas to Soak Texas Gulf Coast;

Port Condition X-Ray in Effect for Corpus Christi

The U.S. Coast Guard has set port condition X-Ray for the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas in expectation of sustained gale force winds generated by Tropical Storm Nicholas. Coast Guard Captain of the Port set port condition X-Ray effective 5:45 p.m. Sunday. Ports and facilities remain open all commercial traffic and all transfer operations may continue while X-Ray remains in effect. If and when port condition Yankee is set, meaning sustained gale force winds are expected within 24 hours, vessel movement shall be restricted, and all movements must be approved by the respective COTP. Mariners are reminded there are no safe havens in these conditions and ports are safest when the inventory of vessels is at a minimum. All ocean-going commercial vessels and ocean-going barges greater than 500 gross tons should be making plans for departing the port...



Elbit Systems to Supply ASW Capabilities to an Asian-Pacific Navy

Elbit Systems announced today that it was awarded contracts, in an aggregate amount of approximately $56 million, to supply Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capabilities to the Navy of a country in Asia-Pacific. The contracts will be performed over a 12-month period. Under the contracts, Elbit Systems will provide the Seagull™ USVs (Unmanned Surface Vessels) configured to perform ASW missions and the Towed Reelable Active Passive Sonar (TRAPS) systems. The Seagull USVs will integrate Helicopter/Ship Long-Range Active Sonars (HELRAS) and will be equipped with the Company’s autonomous suite, Combat Management System and Satellite Communication capability. The TRAPS systems, which will be installed onboard the customer’s corvettes, are low frequency variable-depth-sonars intended for detection, tracking and classification of submarines, midget submarines, surface vessels and torpedoes...


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Damen Yachting SeaXplorer 60 unveiled as construction begins

Dutch shipyard Damen Yachting has unveiled the latest superyacht of their SeaXplorer range, the SeaXplorer 60. The shipyard has announced that the first unit of the new range is now under construction, due for a 2024 delivery date. The new yacht, which was started under speculation in order to reduce delivery time for her future owner, will feature hybrid propulsion. The SeaXplorer 60 features exterior design from Azure Yacht Design & Naval Architecture and has a distinctively Damen Yachting style explorer aesthetic. Rose Damen, Managing Director commented, “Since introducing our SeaXplorer concept in 2015, Damen Yachting has become well-established as the luxury explorer leader. But we expect the future will see even more owners demanding the autonomy, safety and flexibility that the SeaXplorer offers. That’s why we decided to build the SeaXplorer 60 on spec for fast delivery in 2024. She is the only luxury explorer yacht available in her class and an amazing opportunity...


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Control Mega- and Giga-Yachts more closely?

Six arrested in $225 million drug bust on former NZ Navy vessel

A former New Zealand Navy vessel turned charter yacht has been caught up in an alleged drug plot with $225 million worth of cocaine seized from it in the English Channel. The Australian Federal Police and UK's National Crime Agency intercepted the charter yacht Kahu on Friday, and seized 2000 kilograms of cocaine allegedly being carried on board, the Herald Sun reported. The bust of the alleged drug plot and arrest of six suspected criminals - five Nicaraguan nationals and one UK citizen - were the result of the FBI-run encrypted messaging app ANOM...



Taiwan’s 2022 defense budget:

An overview of the new naval programs

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) submitted a budget proposal of NT$471.7 billion (US$17.05 billion) to the Legislative Yuan (parliament) for the procurement of defense systems on August 31. The budget proposal has to be reviewed and passed by the Legislative Yuan. Here is an overview of the naval systems. The budget proposal allocates NT$21.70 billion to Taiwan’s Air Force for fiscal years 2022-2025, for the procurement of four MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAVs. In 2020, then defense minister Yen Teh-fa told Legislators that MQ-9B UAVs will be deployed for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, but according to the budget proposal, these SeaGuardian UAVs will actually be capable of conducting strikes...



German freighter aground in Denmark UPDATE refloated

General cargo ship SIMON B ran aground in Limfjord, Denmark, Kattegat, in the evening Sep 11, while en route from Aggersund, Limfjord, to Falkenberg, Sweden. As of 1020 UTC Sep 12, the ship was still aground, she’s reportedly, to be refloated in the afternoon Sep 12. According to police, ship’s Master didn’t report grounding immediately, he notified authorities early in the morning Sep 12 Damages if any, unknown, no leak reported...


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Destroyer Performs FONOP, U.S. Navy

Disputes Chinese Claim That It Ousted Warship

The U.S. Navy is disputing a claim from China that it chased an American warship out of the South China Sea after the U.S. vessel performed a freedom of navigation exercise. USS Benfold (DDG-65) on Wednesday sailed near the Spratly Islands – which China has staked a claim to – according to a news release from U.S. 7th Fleet. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) quickly criticized the FONOP and claimed it chased the U.S. guided-missile destroyer out of the waters, according to a report in state-owned media outlet CGTN...



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MSC mega container ship reportedly on fire off South Africa coast

Container ship MSC KATRINA said to be on fire on Sep 9, SW of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The ship was NUC, adrift since morning Sep 9, later she seemed to be taken on tow by SAR tug SA AMANDLA, caravan moving towards Port Elizabeth. MSC KATRINA is en route from Lome Togo to Durban South Africa. No other information available at the moment, awaiting updates, confirmation of fire alert...


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Royal Navy warships leave Britain for landmark Pacific deployment

Hong Kong (CNN)Two Royal Navy patrol ships left the United Kingdom on Tuesday for a five-year deployment that will see them act as "the eyes and ears" of Britain from the west coast of Africa, to the west coast of the United States, according to a British Defense Ministry statement. "Two-thirds of the world is our playground," said Lt. Cmdr. Ben Evans, commanding officer of HMS Spey, a 2,000-ton, 300-foot-long offshore patrol vessel that will team with HMS Tamar for a mission that is not expected to see them return to their Portsmouth home port until 2026. While patrolling the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans, the warships will venture as far north as the Bering Sea and as far south as New Zealand and the Australian state of Tasmania. In the center of that region is China, with whom tensions have been heating up with Britain's top ally, the United States. "They will act as the eyes and ears of the Navy -- and nation -- in the region, working alongside Britain's allies, carrying out security patrols to deal with drug-running, smuggling, terrorism and other illegal activities, joining in exercises with other navies and armed forces, and flying the flag for Global Britain," the Defense Ministry statement said...



Nord Stream 2 Nearing Completion As Final Pipe Section Gets Laid

Nord Stream 2 edges closer to completion, as the Russian pipelaying barge FORTUNA welded the final section of the pipeline into place on Monday. The announcement was made by Nord Stream AG, operator of the upcoming mega gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. The company aims to have the giant, $11billion, twin pipeline operational by the end of the year, as revealed a few days back. The goal is to supply more than 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, to various parts of Europe, including the Netherlands and Northern Italy in the future. The final pipe section numbered 200,858 was welded into place with the stretch of pipeline in German waters of the Baltic Sea by technicians on board the FORTUNA. The next and final step in the completion of the project is welding this section to the stretch in Danish waters, completing the Baltic subsea link...



Tansu motor yacht Siempre has sunk after a fire in Marina di Olbia

The 35.2-metre, 2010 Tansu motor yacht Siempre sunk this morning after she caught alight in Marina di Olbia in Italy last night at around 1:30 am. A SuperYacht Times reader witnessed the fire which engulfed the yacht as she sat at her berth and continued well into the small hours of this morning, eventually under control, but still smouldering at 4:00 am. The fire and emergency services were quick to the scene. The SuperYacht Times reader who captured this footage reported that she capsized in the marina at around 8:00 am this morning. It has been reported that some minor damages were incurred by neighbouring yachts which were forced to evacuate the area...


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Stay where you are. Don't travel!

RV - Pandemic Odyssey | RT Documentary

The Pandemic Odyssey by RT Documentary is a travelogue of the film crew who got stranded in the Pacific during the COVID-19 lockdown. Unable to enter any port due to quarantine, the team of seven sailing in a steel yacht around the world had to stretch their scarce supply of fuel, food and drinking water for weeks.


The initial goal of their journey was to try and follow the great geographic route, but as the trip unfolded, they realised it was a lot more meaningful. The yacht became the vessel of choice because it was made of steel and could break the ice and travel through the Arctic and Antarctica. Aleksey Loginov, the yacht’s captain, took a fancy to it and wanted it to take part in a real adventure. This unique yacht was an experiment by the combined harvester plant in Krasnoyarsk and had previously sailed across the Krasnoyarsk Reservoir.


The trip began in 2019 and was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic when the crew had already sailed across the Atlantic. The yacht stayed in Chile for eight months while the crew flew home. When the borders opened again, the team came back to finish the trip around the world. Their primary goal was crossing the Pacific and sailing to Russia through Kamchatka.


On their way across the Pacific, the world was hit by the second wave of the pandemic. Countries on the way closed their borders, and the sailors were stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with withering food and water supplies. What does it feel like to be caught in the middle of the ocean?


00:00 - intro

1:12 - The steel yacht is made at a combined harvester plant

2:18 - In 2019, the yacht left the Krasnoyarsk Reservoir

4:13 - We weren’t ready for the experience ahead of us

5:07 - The crew consists of 7 people

8:08 - At the first stop, things went not as we expected

10:10 - Easter Island is three weeks away

13:45 - The daily routine was set up quickly

15:34 - The goal of the journey is to see the world differently

17:02 - The squalls caused devastation

19:32 - Easter Island is closed due to the pandemic

22:06 – The scale of the pandemic consequences was unexpected

25:03 - One of the crew nearly drowned

29:36 - Three weeks to Fiji low on fuel and drinking water

32:33 - Entering the dead calm without an engine can be fatal

33:37 - Noodles became the staple of our diet

35:56 - Catching fish in the ocean is not as easy as it seems

37:52 - Seeking help from Samoan port authorities

40:00 - Samoa rejected the refugee request because of COVID

41:51 - Sergey finally caught a big fish

42:28 - Fiji is the first port in 4 months ready to take the team in

44:50 - The team lost one crew member

46:59 - The goal of the journey was to feel the path of life


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U.S. Navy expands Expeditionary Medical Capability with two EPFs

The Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) conducted high-speed trials, reaching speeds approximately 40 knots off the coast of Virginia. At Sea Air Space 2021, Austal showcased a new Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) medical ship concept intended to replace the current and aging USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) and USNS Comfort (T-AH-20), two ships converted from oil tankers into hospital ships that are about 35 years old. Naval News asked the U.S. Navy for more information regarding the future replacements for the T-AH hospital ships and what the U.S. Navy intends to do for expanded expeditionary shipborne medical coverage.



Royal Hakvoort delivers 61m superyacht Top Five II

The 61-metre superyacht Top Five II, formerly known as Project 251, has been delivered to her owner. She has embarked on her maiden voyage and will cross the Atlantic Ocean, with Florida as her final destination. The superyacht was launched in Monnickendam, the Netherlands this past April and completed sea trials in the North Sea this past July. The owner’s representatives, Monique and Justin Chalain commented, “The owner spent five years researching shipyards to build his new yacht. It was the charm and character of this small bespoke yard in the heart of the historic city of Monnickendam that drew them in, and they decided that this is where they can create something truly unique. The result has exceeded all of our expectations. We are exceptionally proud that Top Five II is the first Royal Hakvoort yacht delivered after receiving its Royal designation. The yacht is a culmination of their 101-year shipbuilding history as well as serving as the springboard for excellence for the next 100 years...


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Do China’s ambitions in Indian Ocean go beyond protecting trade?

China has built ports in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Can India counter Beijing’s economic diplomacy? China’s claims to the South China Sea have been well documented, but Beijing is extending its reach into other territories to protect what it considers its Maritime Silk Route. It is building ports that encircle India, raising concerns in New Delhi about its influence and China’s expansive foreign policy. Collin Koh, a research fellow at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, explains Beijing’s strategy…



India, Singapore conduct major naval exercise near South China Sea

NEW DELHI: Maintaining a high operational tempo during its ongoing deployment to South East Asia, the South China Sea and the Western Pacific, the Indian naval task-force has now conducted a major exercise with Singapore over the last three days. Guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay, with a ship-borne helicopter, anti-submarine warfare corvette INS Kiltan and guided-missile corvette INS Kora, along with a P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, took part in the 'SIMBEX’ exercise on the southern fringes of the South China Sea from September 2 to 4. Singapore, in turn, deployed two warships, frigate RSS Steadfast and missile corvette RSS Vigour, an Archer-class submarine and Fokker-50 maritime patrol aircraft. The Singapore Air Force also fielded four F-16 fighters for air defence drills during the naval exercise...


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New autonomous vessel delivered to Royal Navy

The Royal Navy’s experimentation innovator NavyX has officially welcomed a new autonomous vessel into its service. Named Madfox (Maritime Demonstrator For Operational eXperimentation), it is derived from technology firm L3Harris’ Mast-13 vessel, which for the past 18 months has been operated by Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) on a series of trials with the Royal Navy.  Since being delivered, NavyX has been working hard to get Madfox to sea and ready to begin a demanding year of testing. Over the next few months, NavyX will carry on its work with Uncrewed Surface Vessel (USV), while also examining how these vessels can deliver across the range of military operations including surveillance and force protection. Commander Antony Crabb, NavyX team leader, said: “With Madfox now directly in the hands of NavyX, the team will be able to explore a multitude of issues such as safety, regulatory compliance, new missions, new payloads and the role that a USV can play in complex operations and within the future fleet...



US Coast Guard Conducts Exercises

with Philippines During Pacific Tour

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Munro continued its ongoing deployment to the Pacific participating in joint exercises earlier this week in the West Philippine Sea with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Deployed from its home base in Southern California the cutter also visited Japan, participated in joint exercises with the Japan Coast Guard, and a high visibility transit of the Taiwan Strait with the US Navy. The mission is part of the USCG’s mission to build close ties across the region and support the U.S.’s allies in the Pacific. The exercises are also seen in response to China’s increased efforts in the region...


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