Dive Point, a recreational and technical diving centre based in Hurghada, Egypt has made a plastic pledge to coincide with this year’s Earth Day, by permanently reducing their onboard plastic waste.
In 1969 at a UNESCO conference John McConnell proposed that an annual day be put in place to support and promote environmental protection. The first ‘Earth Day’ was held on the first day of spring (in the northern hemisphere) on 21st March 1970. The date later moved to 22nd April.
“We are always looking at ways to recycle and we wanted to mark Earth Day in a positive manner”, stated Regina Rinkenburger, Dive Point’s Operation Manager. In some countries, such as Germany and Canada it is really easy to recycle. In Egypt it can be more challenging, therefore we need to be cleverer with our waste.
We have found that recycling plastic is not a simple process; hence we must put in place as many ways as we can to reduce our plastic use. This week we have installed 19 litre water fountains on our dive boats. Each fountain is the equivalent of 31 small plastic bottles of water. Guests are welcome to fill their water containers as many times as they like. These fountains have already made a huge difference to the amount of plastic waste coming off our boats.”
What a great way to start the week. We have three pieces of positive #BalloonRelease news!
As March drew to a close we talked to the British magazine Horse & Hound about the Marine Conservation Society‘s online pledge. The MCS is actively urging people to sign their pledge to help the charity create an interactive map, to show support for balloon release bans around the UK.
As you can see in the news cutting below, we are delighted that news of the MCS #BalloonRelease Pledge made it into Horse & Hound.
“The Marine Conservation Society launched a campaign on 22 March, calling on people to lobby the councils to ban balloon and lantern releases, as it has seen the harm they cause to sea and shore life.”
TUMC’s Roz Lunn was also quoted in this article.
‘Rosemary Lunn, who works in communications in the diving industry, pointed out that Helium is a finite resource and is needed for vital work in medicine. “Times have moved on and ideas need to change”, she said.’
The second piece of good news comes from Australia and concerns a support group called ‘The Compassionate Friends‘. This group helps bereaved parents and siblings by providing opportunities for families to come together. One of TCF SA’s key events is an annual balloon release. This year’s event was due to be held on Sunday 23rd April.
It should be stated that TCF SA did not understand the impact of ‘environmentally friendly’ latex balloons until No Balloon Release Australia advised them according.
After learning the facts, a committee member of TCF SA and an organiser of the balloon release event confirmed that the group would immediately look into an environmentally friendly alternative event to replace the balloon release.
“Our information previously had been that by using supposedly biodegradable balloons, our event was safe for the environment. We’re saddened to know this is not the case.
It seems we are harming the environment by releasing balloons – this is certainly not our intention – so the committee will revise the plans for the event and come up with another way to acknowledge our precious children.”
Well done to all concerned.
And finally an update on last week’s Poundbakery balloon release.
Earlier today Poundbakery released the following statement via social media.
“We at Poundbakery are incredibly sorry for last week’s balloon release PR stunt. Whilst we did use biodegradable materials, we did not realise that these materials could still have such a negative impact on the environment and wildlife. We were both naive and ignorant of the devastation this can cause, which is why we would like to donate £1000 to an environmental charity. We are currently in the process of looking for a local north west based charity and will update you all when we have found the right one.”
Thank you Poundbakery for listening.
Yesterday – Tuesday 16th February 2016 – Monarch issued the following update regarding flights to Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh.
* * *
“Monarch has continued to liaise closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for Transport (DfT) and the UK Government over the travel advice to Sharm El Sheikh. Whilst we are aware of the recent assessment of security procedures at Sharm El Sheikh Airport and welcome this progress, we appreciate there is further work to be done to reopen this airport to the travelling British public. Currently, the advice from both the FCO and the DfT remains unchanged from November and advises customers against all but essential air travel to Sharm El Sheikh Airport. However, Monarch is mindful of the ongoing government level discussions to restart UK flights to Sharm El Sheikh, which could allow the Easter period to operate as planned.
As there is no change in advice at this point, Monarch has extended the cancellation of flights to and from the UK and Sharm El Sheikh Airport up to and including Thursday, 24th March 2016. In the event that the advice does not change by next week (26th February 2016), Monarch will make further cancellations including the Easter period. It remains Monarch’s objective to operate flights to Sharm El Sheikh once approval is granted.
Customers who are affected by these cancellations are entitled to change a booking to a later date or rebook to another destination on the Monarch network. Customers can also request a credit note towards future travel or a refund.
For customers looking for an alternative destination, Monarch has additional flights to mainland Spain, Faro, Gibraltar, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and Tenerife. Other alternatives for a winter sun escape include the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Eilat and Cyprus, Agadir and Madeira. Details of these together with other suggestions for a winter holiday getaways can be found on our website.
Flight only customers can contact the Monarch Customer Contact Centre on 0333 003 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers who have booked a package holiday should contact Monarch on 0333 777 4744.
The safety and security of our passengers will always remain our number one priority and whilst this ongoing situation is beyond our control, Monarch would like to apologise to all affected customers for the inconvenience that it has caused.”
The following piece is taken from an article by Rosemary E Lunn written for 990 Magazine entitled ‘A Wet Weekend in Weymouth’. (Volume 1, Issue 4, Summer 1999)
Early on the summer of 3 November 1979 the Aeolian Sky, a 14,000 ton Greek freighter, was steaming south west of the Isle of Wight, bound for Aden. At 04:55 a mid channel collision occurred with the 2,400 ton MV Anna Knupel, which managed to escape virtually unscathed. The Aeolian Sky was not so lucky and radioed for assistance, reporting that she was holed in the forward number one hold and taking water. Shortly afterwards another message was sent saying that the second bulkhead had given way and that number one and number two holds were full of water with the remainder of the ship open to the sea. It soon became apparent that she would have to be abandoned and so the crew were airlifted off. Twenty-four miles later, after drifting unmanned in mid channel, it was decided that the Master and two crew should be airlifted aboard again, to see what could be done to rectify the situation. She was successfully taken under tow and after four hours, land was sighted. However the Sky was sinking at the bows and because her draught was considered too deep to safely enter Portsmouth or Southampton harbor, she was refused refuge. A decision was made to head towards Portland, but at 4.05am she sank 5 miles from St Aldhelm’s Head.
And so the myth was borne. For the Sky was carrying quite a mixed cargo: vehicles, perfumes and sweets to name but a few goodies, and one should not overlook approximately £4,000,000 worth of Seychelles Rupees reportedly stashed in the Sickbay. What a surprise when, a few weeks later, it was announced that divers acting for the Crown Agents, who were responsible for the money, had secretly dived the wreck searching the Sickbay for the money, to find it missing! The Seychelles Government was not amused and cancelled the complete note issue.
Then, to add insult to injury, canisters of deadly chemicals began to be washed up in the area. BSAC banned diving and taking of fish life between Bembridge Ledges and Portland, local fishermen were prohibited from trawling within one mile of the wreck and hundreds of dead crabs were washed up. Weymouth and Portland began to fear the coming season would prove to be disastrous and questions were asked in the House of Commons. Things were looking bleak for the resort.
Eventually it was established that the deadly chemicals hadn’t come from the Sky, but had been washed off the deck of another ship in mid channel. The diving ban was lifted, summer arrived, and suddenly everyone wanted to dive the Sky.
Divers should be aware that she has been fished, and there are tangles of monofilament and ropes. The Sky is also affected by tides that can run like a train and some weird currents and irregular water movements similar to a washing machine. A friend of mine was subjected to a most peculiar ascent two days after I had dived her.
She is, however, a most mouth-watering wreck and one does get that feeling of ‘Where do I start?’ – she is so huge. We landed on the bridge structure and I was immediately struck by the number of cargo derricks that were casually strewn around the deck, like so many jackstraws. Further on huge pulley blocks that had snapped off during the sinking lay scattered amongst the other debris. Rumour has it that there are several Landrovers on the wreck. I didn’t actually get to see any though I did spot one ex-vehicle. Quite an odd sight, 4 tyres with an engine block in the middle, and nothing else. As I sat taking in the scene a complete meal for one wandered into view. A lobster with a crab caught between its pincers.
There’s so much marine life; lots of orange shag pile carpet coating the wreck (Colonial polyp called Tubularia species indivisa, common name Oaten Pipes Hydroid), and a plethora of blushy pink Jewel Anemones. I do like Jewel Anemones! There was also a profusion of small flower like anemones that looked like camomile or large daisies, which splashed colour over the hulk (Devonshire Cup Coral).
The Sky is such an enormous wreck with so much to see, that one dive is definitely not enough. She currently lies at 30 metres, so good bottom time can be pulled, especially on recreational trimix. Personally I can’t wait to dive her again.
Rebreather Forum 3 Speakers – Friday 18th May 2012
Caribbean Ballroom III, Caribe Royale Convention Center
Dr Drew Richardson
07:30 Rebreather Forum 3 Welcome
15:00 Rebreather Forum 3 Orientation
15:15 Lessons Learned from Rebreather Forum 2
Dr Richard ‘Harry’ Harris
16:30 Rebreathers – Overcoming Obstacles in Exploration
17:20 CCR Communities
Fourth Element are on the look out for new talent and they currently have two vacancies;
Junior Designer for Web
Salary: 16 – 20k (Depending on Experience)
We are currently looking for a graphic designer with web experience to join the team at Fourth Element. The role involves a wide variety of tasks covering everything from advertising, marketing, print graphics, design for web and social media. The successful candidate would ideally have a basic knowledge of design for web. This represents a fantastic opportunity for someone with limited knowledge to get hands on experience and training in website design, coding, marketing and management. Training and mentoring will be available through the UCP programme to help develop knowledge and skills in key areas for the successful candidate.
For more information and to apply, visit the UCP website here: Unlocking Cornish Potential
UK Sales Manager
Salary: 20 – 25k, OTE 35K plus Company Car or Car allowance
Location: Head Office: Mullion and UK Regional Sales
Fantastic opportunity to join a dynamic company that is showing significant expansion in the UK and overseas. Fourth Element has established itself as the worldwide market leader in Scuba Diving thermal protection and clothing, producing a range of high performance thermal solutions for recreational and professional scuba divers throughout the world, including neoprene wetsuits, drysuit underwear and a casual clothing range.
The successful candidate will visit dive stores throughout the UK and Ireland, to show new products and to encourage sales. This will require on average approx 10 days every month to be on the road and the remaining time working from the head office located at Higher Bochym, Nr Mullion. The successful applicant will inherit an active customer list, but will be expected to open and develop new business throughout the UK.
The position would suit a qualified and active Scuba Diver although this is not essential. Sales promotional activities such as attending dive shows and ‘demo’ days over a small number of weekends throughout the year will form a critical part of the job role.
Please apply in writing to : Jim Standing, Fourth Element Ltd, Higher Bochym, Helston, TR12 7AZ.
On November 28th 2011, the British Government announced that it planned to scrap Portland’s search-and-rescue helicopter. This helicopter serves some of Britain’s most popular and perilous recreational waters and one of Europe’s busiest shipping routes.
We believe that local knowledge is paramount to providing an effective and efficient emergency service at sea, where a few minutes are often the difference between life and death. This cut will cost lives.
Please follow the link and sign the petition; http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-our-life-savers.html