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Chinese transport

Scuttlebutt couldn’t help noticing that the Chinese president Xi Jinping arrived for his first state visit to the UK on the same day that two new 35m long Thames Clippers were craned on to the River Thames in preparation for entering service. One wonders whether the visiting dignitary wasn’t ferried between meetings with prime minister David Cameron, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Queen Elizabeth II – as well as an incongruous visit to Inmarsat towers – aboard the new boats, retreating back to them in the evenings before later embarking on a voyage under moonlight to inspect some new islands being constructed down river.

Inching away 72

Scuttlebutt was recently treated to a meet and greet with a number of shipping companies in Dubai, including Inchcape Shipping Services. After a presentation on the impact of the oil price collapse on the region, the floor was opened for questions – which ISS expected to focus on the talk just delivered. Little did the agency representatives

know that they would be asked if the company had ever been mistaken for an extremist jihadist extremist militant group on the strength of its initials. A shocked look and a fair bit of spluttering later, the representative regained his composure and managed to clarify that the group had never been mixed up with ISIS and that it prefers to be called by its full name – prob- ably a wise move. Scuttlebutt was not surprised that all the journalists were ushered out soon after.

Perfect profile shot

The London P&I Club has recom- mended that ship operators keep a good quality digital camera on board to collect evidence for claims arising from damage to fixed or floating objects. “Good photographs taken as soon as possible after the event can be shared by email with a remote expert for instant advice on key issues,” said

Mike Harrison of Solis Marine Consultants. Scuttlebutt wonders if

crew should go one step further and upload the images straight to social media on a bespoke platform for such collisions – perhaps called ‘bumpr’? It would have the ability to tag where the objects were last seen together with a brief personal profile. “Lonely piece of driftwood seeking an encounter with a friendly ship. Likes: coastal strolls, D.I.Y and the band Travis. Dislikes: being soggy, strong sea currents and splintered relationships.” It would not surprise us if some of the

objects went on to star in their own reality TV show. After a hard day at work, Scuttlebutt would totally unwind while watching the Jetsams.

e-Fail attachment

Maritime law firm Clyde & Co informs us that changes to vessel arrest legislation in the UAE mean AIS data is no longer considered valid proof to the courts that a vessel is actually within regional waters. Instead, the party seeking to arrest a vessel is required to submit a physical letter from the harbour master to attest to the location of the vessel. At the same time, the harbour authorities are blowing their trumpet about the fact that they have migrated to an electronic system to file court cases – a switch that is said to be both more efficient and green. Scuttlebutt wonders if the courts see the irony of their decision, and if the parties pursuing litigation are required to bring print outs of all the documents in triplicate...


You can’t hack a sextant, notes news site Quartz as it reported on the US Navy’s decision to return to celestial navigation amid fears of cyber attacks.

War is Boring asks some US naval experts why the Chinese are lagging behind in nuclear submarines.

Celebrated poet Murray Lachlan Young performs two poetic takes on the Shipping Forecast as part of We British series on BBC Radio 4.

A thoughtful but brief essay on how technology is rapidly making once invisible oceans increasingly visible and revolutionising marine science in the process.

The best way to power the ‘cloud’ is by going under the sea, concludes a 3-minute video presented by Vox on the subsea engineering feats that power the internet.

The BBC ran an extended feature on the wreck of WWII-era ammunition ship, the SS Richard Montgomery, that lies in the Thames estuary, and the possible threat it poses to inhabitants of the seaside town of Sheerness.

The Guardian presents the remarkable story of José Salvador Alvarenga, the man who vanished for 14 months after getting lost at sea.

Steelhenge: A Swiss architecture firm has recreated the prehistoric English stone circle using 50 shipping containers, reports

the design blog Dezeen.


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