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The Royal Australian Navy's clearance divers have
completed their mission of assisting the Tongan
Government to search and recover bodies from the sunken
ferry 'Princess Ashika'.
Sonar Imagery from the Royal New Zealand Navy's REMUS
(Remote Environment Measuring Underwater System)
detachment revealed a vessel on the ocean floor with dimensions
matching those of the ferry which sank in waters South West of
Nomuka in the Ha'apai group of islands.
The vessel was sitting in 110 metres of water and has a bow
section, bridge, passenger accommodation and cargo bays
matching those of the 'Princess Ashika'.
At a depth of 110 metres, the vessel was beyond the capability
of the clearance dive team. The team has now returned to base.
"I am pleased that we could assist the Tongan people in their
time of need and I only wish that we could have done more to
help with the recovery of their loved ones," said Executive
Officer of the Australian Clearance Dive Team One, Lieutenant
The Royal New Zealand Navy will now attempt to obtain
visual identification with a special underwater vessel that can
capture video at depth.
Royal Australian Navy completes 'Princess Ashika' search, recovery mission
The RAN assists the Tongan Government in recovering bodies from the
'Princess Ashika' disaster
Strategic Marine Australia has successfully delivered three
12.9-metre landing craft to Kuwaiti company Seas and Deserts,
a sales agent to the Ministry of Defence Kuwait Naval Force.
The aluminium vessels designed by Strategic Marine and
Southerly Designs, have a 12.9-metre length overall, a beam of
four metres and a draught of 0.45 metres.
Powered by two 223kW V8, Yamaha outboard motors, these
engines reach speeds of over 40 knots at lightship.
With a cruising speed of 28 knots the vessels are expected to
have the capacity to operate for up to 14 hours and a range of
approximately 380 nautical miles fully loaded.
The landing craft are designed to carry a high mobility multi-
purpose wheeled vehicle, or are capable of a five-tonne payload.
The vessels will operate in the Arabian Gulf region, between
Kuwait and surrounding islands, and will be used to transfer light
vehicles and equipment throughout the region.
Strategic Marine is working on an additional two landing craft
for Seas and Deserts, designed to carry up to 20 passengers.
The two passenger craft are expected to reach in excess of 30
knots at full load, powered by two 260kW V6 outboard motors.
Kuwait takes delivery of three Strategic Marine landing craft
An article on National Public Radio in
the USA describes the efforts of a group
to re-establish the sardine as the king of
seafood in Monterey, California -- home
of Cannery Row and John Steinbeck.
The "Sardinistas" are a sardine-loving
group that might be best described as
"green foodies" and their aim is to knock
off the big three: tuna, salmon and shrimp.
The familiar bogeyman, overfishing, is
used to convince consumers to try
alternatives: fish like tilapia, barramundi
and the lowly sardine.
The once massive sardine fishery crashed
in the mid-1950s but the group claims the
Pacific sardine population has now
recovered. And the fish are, "packed with
protein and vitamin D and lots of omega-3
fatty acids. And since they're low on the
food chain, they don't have the organic
toxins and heavy metals, like mercury, that
the higher food-chain fish do."
They are planning to market a
replacement for cans of tuna; cans of
sardine meat, minus the bones and head.
The group is also working to get local
chefs to put fresh sardines on the menu.
Just north of Monterey, the sardine
boats are unloading at Moss Landing. In
one load, about 40 tonnes of sardines,
are pumped into plastic containers on
And at this point Australia gets a poke
in the eye!
About 90 percent of these sardines are
headed down under to be used as fish
meal for tuna.
One for Australia and one against! Tuna versus the sardine!
The once-booming Cannery Row in Monterey
Photo by: Amadscientist
September 2009 AUSMARINE
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